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Montana

Local Resources

Stalking often occurs along with other crimes, like domestic violence and sexual assault. While there are no state coalitions for victims of stalking, many domestic violence and sexual assault programs are able to provide assistance. Many of the resources can be confusing to navigate, victim advocates are available to talk to you about address confidentiality and your states criminal stalking laws. Victim advocates can also assist you with safety planning, keeping a log of stalking incidents, and how to be safe when using technology. Find services and/or an advocate in your county using the following links:

Address Confidentiality

Address confidentiality programs allow victims of stalking, sexual assault, domestic violence, or other types of crime to receive mail at a substitute address, which keeps their actual address private and prevents offenders from locating the victim through public records. Mail is sent to the legal substitute address, often a post office box, and then forwarded to the victim’s actual address. The substitute address can be provided whenever the victim’s address is required by a public agency.

Click here for more information on the Address Confidentiality Program in Montana.

Criminal Stalking Laws

Criminal stalking laws define when a perpetrator may be charged with the crime of stalking, and what infractions are required to bring such a charge. The laws usually define various misdemeanor and felony offenses that correlate with the severity of the transgression. Based on police investigation, a state prosecutor will determine what charges to bring against an offender, and will then file charges against the perpetrator (formally known as an indictment). A trial typically follows, and the defendant may be offered a plea agreement. The criminal statute will also delineate potential punishments, if the perpetrator is convicted, which may include probation, house arrest, and incarceration, among others. Restitution may be requested and awarded to the victim by court order following a conviction, usually at a sentencing hearing.

Click here for more information on criminal stalking laws in Montana.

National Resources

  • VictimConnect Resource Center - Confidential information, support and referrals for victims of crime via telephone, chat and text including safety planning and crime reporting.
  • WomensLaw.org - State-specific legal information related regarding protection orders, custody, divorce, state gun laws and more. WomensLaw.org also operates an email hotline where victims, their family/friends and advocates can write to ask legal questions.

Address Confidentiality

The Montana State Address Confidentiality Program assists crime victims who have relocated. Click here to find help with your application in your county. Click here to learn more about what the program in your state covers.

Contact Information

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Criminal Stalking Laws

Mont. Code Ann. § 45-5-220 Stalking -- exemption -- penalty. (2003)
(1)  A person commits the offense of stalking if the person purposely or knowingly causes another person substantial emotional distress or reasonable apprehension of bodily injury or death by repeatedly:

(a)   following the stalked person; or

(b)  harassing, threatening, or intimidating the stalked person, in person or by mail, electronic communication, as defined in 45-8-213, or any other action, device, or method.

(2)  This section does not apply to a constitutionally protected activity.

(3)  For the first offense, a person convicted of stalking shall be imprisoned in the county jail for a term not to exceed 1 year or fined an amount not to exceed $ 1,000, or both. For a second or subsequent offense or for a first offense against a victim who was under the protection of a restraining order directed at the offender, the offender shall be imprisoned in the state prison for a term not to exceed 5 years or fined an amount not to exceed $ 10,000, or both. A person convicted of stalking may be sentenced to pay all medical, counseling, and other costs incurred by or on behalf of the victim as a result of the offense.

(4)  Upon presentation of credible evidence of violation of this section, an order may be granted, as set forth in Title 40, chapter 15, restraining a person from engaging in the activity described in subsection (1).

(5)  For the purpose of determining the number of convictions under this section, "conviction" means:
(a)  a conviction, as defined in 45-2-101, in this state;

(b)  a conviction for a violation of a statute similar to this section in another state; or

(c)  a forfeiture of bail or collateral deposited to secure the defendant's appearance in court in this state or another state for a violation of a statute similar to this section, which forfeiture has not been vacated.

(6)  Attempts by the accused person to contact or follow the stalked person after the accused person has been given actual notice that the stalked person does not want to be contacted or followed constitutes prima facie evidence that the accused person purposely or knowingly followed, harassed, threatened, or intimidated the stalked person.

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