Victim Rights Information
The 2021 Montana Legislature passed an amendment to 45-15-406, MCA. Notice of Rights for Victims of Sexual Assault. Please click the link below to see
the amendment. HB0310 Updated 2021 Victim Rights
Rights include the following:
(1) a victim may receive a sexual assault medical forensic examination and have evidence collected using a sexual assault evidence kit even if the victim does not want to participate in a criminal investigation;
(2) a victim may not be billed for the cost of administering the sexual assault medical forensic examination or collecting evidence for the sexual assault evidence kit;
(3) on request by a sexual assault victim to the investigating law enforcement agency, the victim may receive the following information:
(a) contact information for the officer investigating the case;
(b) the current status of the case;
(c) whether the case has been submitted to the office of the prosecuting attorney for review;
(d) whether the case has been closed and the documented reason for closure;
(e) if available, contact information for a local community-based victim services program;
(f) notifications of the victim’s legal rights, including the right to file a petition requesting an order of protection; and
(g) the notices required by 46-24-203, 46-24-204, and 46-24-206.
46-24-201, MCA. Services to Victims of Crime,
Law enforcement personnel shall ensure that a victim of a crime receives emergency social and medical services as soon as possible and that the victim is given written notice, in the form supplied by the attorney general, of the following:
(a) the availability of crime victim compensation;
(b) access by the victim and the defendant to information about the case, including the right to receive documents under 46-24-106;
(c) the role of the victim in the criminal justice process, including what the victim can expect from the system, as well as what the system expects from the victim, and including the right
to be accompanied during interviews as provided in 46-24-106; and
(d) stages in the criminal justice process of significance to a crime victim and the manner in which information about the stages may be obtained.
(2) In addition to the information supplied under subsection (1), law enforcement personnel shall provide the victim with written information on community-based victim treatment programs, including medical, housing, counseling, and emergency services available in the community.
(3) As soon as possible, law enforcement personnel shall give to the victim the following information:
(a) the name, office address, and telephone number of a law enforcement officer assigned to investigate the case; and
(b) the prosecuting attorney’s name, office address, and telephone number.
46-24-202, MCA. Notification of Available Protective Services,
Law enforcement officers and prosecuting attorneys shall provide a victim or witness information on the availability of services to protect the victim or witness from intimidation, including the process for obtaining a protective order from the court.
To learn more about protective orders, please click Orders of Protection
46-24-203, MCA. Prompt Notification to Victims and Witnesses of Certain Offenses,
A person described in subsection (2) who provides the appropriate official with a current address and telephone number must receive prompt advance notification, if possible, of proceedings relating to the person’s case, including:
(a) the arrest of an accused;
(b) the release of the accused pending judicial proceedings;
(c) the crime with which the accused has been charged, including an explanation of the elements of the offense when necessary to an understanding of the nature of the crime;
(d) proceedings in the prosecution of the accused, including entry of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere and the setting of a trial date;
(e) if the accused is convicted or pleads guilty or nolo contendere:
(i) the function of a presentence report;
(ii) the name, office address, and telephone number of the person preparing the report; and
(iii) the convicted person’s right of access to the report, as well as the victim’s right under 46-18-115 to present a statement in writing or orally at the sentencing proceeding and the convicted person’s right to be present at the sentencing proceeding and to have access to the victim’s statement;
(f) the date, time, and place of any sentencing hearing, the sentence imposed, and the term of imprisonment, if imposed;
(g) the right under 46-24-212 of a victim of a felony offense to receive information from the department of corrections concerning the convicted person’s incarceration; and
(h) the right under 46-23-215, 46-23-509, or 46-23-1011 of a victim of a sexual offense, as defined in 46-23-502, to request a sentencing order, condition of parole, or condition of probation to require the convicted person to refrain from direct or indirect contact with the victim.
(2) A person entitled to notification under subsection (1) must be a victim or witness of a felony offense or a misdemeanor offense involving actual, threatened, or potential bodily injury to the victim, a relative of a victim or witness who is a minor, or a relative of a homicide victim.
46-24-204, MCA. Scheduling Changes,
(1) As soon as practicable, the prosecuting attorney shall notify a victim or witness of any scheduling changes that may affect the appearance of the victim or witness at a criminal justice proceeding that the victim or witness is scheduled to attend.
(2) For the purpose of providing notification, the prosecuting attorney shall have available a system for promptly alerting a victim or witness that a scheduling change has been made.
46-24-206, MCA. Property Return – Right to be Heard on Disposition of Evidence,
A law enforcement agency or prosecuting attorney shall promptly return any of the victim’s property held for evidentiary purposes, unless there is a compelling law enforcement reason for retaining the property.
(2) Before the destruction, disposal, or use of evidence that is not the victim’s property, the court shall, as provided in 46-5-308, give the victim an opportunity to be heard as to the appropriate disposition of the evidence.