DUI Rights in Montana – Montana DUI Laws
After being arrested and charged for Driving Under the Influence in Billings, Missoula, Bozeman, Helena, or any other city in Montana, it is important to start fighting these charges as soon as possible in order to get your life back on track. In the state of Montana, DUI accounts for over 40 percent of all traffic accident related deaths, which is why the state takes these infractions so seriously. In Montana, first time DUI offenders will face up to 6 months in jail, up to $1,000 fines, and a 6-month license suspension.
The professionals who work at DUIRights.com will take the time to evaluate DUI cases on a case by case basis, helping to pinpoint certain areas of the case to help the individuals build a stronger case in court. What many individuals do not realize is that most DUI arrests see an individual’s rights violated in some way, which is evidence that can be used to have the case dismissed in court. Additionally, in the state of Montana, it is possible for an individual to have the charges reduced to “wet reckless.”
Knowing if Your DUI Rights Were Violated
Many individuals do not know their rights were violated because they do not know what specific rights they have during a DUI arrest. A good DUI lawyer will be able to review the case in detail to see if any of these rights have been violated. Then, the attorney can use this information as leverage in the individuals’ case, either having the case dismissed or working out a plea bargain to have the individual’s charges reduced to something less serious. Some of the questions the individual will be asked to find out this information include:
- What triggered the traffic stop? Did the officer have probable cause to pull the individual over?
- Were the officer’s observations consistent with what other witnesses saw regarding the individual’s driving behavior?
- Was the individual driving the vehicle at the time of the traffic stop? Did the officer witness the individual with the vehicle in operation?
- Did the officer administer field sobriety testing? How was this testing administered?
- Did the officer administer a Breathalyzer test? How long after the individual’s last drink was this test given?
- Did the officer recite the individual’s Miranda Rights when they were being arrested?
The information the DUI attorney gathers from these and other questions will help them to identify if any of the individual’s rights were violated, helping to add more defense to the case overall.
Protect your rights and learn how to get your Montana DUI charges dismissed. Get Started Now by filling out the Free DUI Arrest Evaluation Form to get the answers you need.
You still have a chance to improve your situation once you learn the steps needed to eliminate your Montana DUI charges. Montana DUI penalties have become inflated calculations by the court system favored towards the courts themselves and attorneys specializing in this field. DUIRights.com has helped thousands of people just like you. Good people with families, jobs, and friends. People who are now facing one of the worst days of their lives after being charged with DUI. We sincerely believe that people who make a mistake shouldn’t have to pay for it the rest of their lives.
No matter how guilty you may think you were at the time of the arrest, we want you to know one important thing: There is ALWAYS an aggressive and effective defense that will help you fight for the best possible outcome. In our experience, many officers do not follow proper field sobriety test procedures. In fact, challenging probable cause and the way field sobriety tests, blood tests and breath tests were administered is often a successful strategy to reduce or drop the charges. Also, many people plead guilty prematurely based on a breath test with a result above the legal limit. This is a common and costly mistake, as there are a variety of ways in having the breath test suppressed.
DUI Laws in Montana
Montana has an aggressive DUI structure. Penalties for first time offenders are significant and every offense thereafter escalates the fines even more. In addition, the state offers the possibility of an ignition interlock device (IID) on the very first offense. If you are arrested and charged with a DUI in Montana, you will more than likely need an attorney.
Consequences for Refusing to Take Chemical Tests
As is every other state in the country, Montana is an implied consent state. This means that while you can refuse to take chemical tests, you will face fines and a license suspension for doing so. These penalties are in place regardless of the outcome of your DUI case in court.
- First offense – six-month suspension
- Second offense – one-year suspension
- Third offense – one-year suspension
Challenging BAC Levels in Court
Montana is a zero-tolerance state for under-21 drivers. For 21 and older drivers as well as commercial drivers, the BAC levels are consistent with most states in the country:
- Drivers that are under the age of 21, 0.0 percent, zero tolerance
- Drivers 21 years of age and older, .08 percent
- Commercial drivers, .04 percent
Is There Mandatory Jail Time Required for a DUI in Montana
All individuals arrested and convicted of a DUI in Montana will receive a jail sentence. Please note that a fourth conviction is a considered a felony and may result in up to five years in prison:
- First offense – two days to six months in jail
- Second offense – seven days to six months in jail
- Third offense – 30 days to one year in jail
In 2013, Montana changed the look back period for sentencing from five years to ten years.
Monetary Fines and Penalties for DUI in Montana
Minimum fines in Montana are on par with most other states, but maximum fines and penalties are significantly higher:
- First offense – minimum of $300 fine with a maximum of $1,000
- Second offense – minimum of $600 with a maximum of $1,000
- Third offense – minimum of $1,000 with a maximum of $5,000
License Suspension for DUI in Montana
Anyone arrested and convicted of a DUI in Montana will face automatic jail time:
- First offense – six-month license suspension
- Second offense – one-year license suspension
- Third offense – one-year license suspension
First time offenders may be required to have an IID installed at the discretion of the court. For all repeat offenders, an IID is mandatory.
Reasons to Hire a Montana DUI Attorney
An attorney is the best resource for a legal matter but some lawyers are better choices for DUI issues. A public defender, though free or inexpensive, is not the best person to represent a DUI defendant. Public defenders deal with all types of cases and carry heavy caseloads. This means their knowledge of DUI laws is usually limited and they are more willing to settle a case than defend it in court.
A DUI lawyer specializes in defending clients charged with DUI. DUI attorneys licensed to practice in Montana understand every nuance of the state’s complex DUI laws. They also understand how the state court system operates regarding DUI cases. These lawyers are ready, willing, and able to take DUI cases to court and exonerate their clients. Often, they are able to convince judges to decrease charges or dismiss cases.
There is no arguing that intoxicated driving is wrong. However, some drivers are falsely charged due to inaccurate chemical test results or biases of arresting officers. DUI attorneys expose this and present witnesses and experts to support their arguments, weakening cases made by prosecutors. Judges cannot overlook the aspect of reasonable doubt when rendering their decisions.
Finding a DUI Lawyer in Montana
Montana is a large state with populated areas separated by massive mountain ranges. This makes it difficult to find a DUI attorney by looking in the immediate area. DUIRights.com simplifies the process by locating an experienced DUI lawyer for defendants. Simply submit our short DUI arrest evaluation form and an attorney will soon be in touch to provide a free case review.
Before their initial consultations conclude, most DUI defendants realize that they need a DUI lawyer in order to win their cases. Save time and worry by discussing fees and payment options up front. As soon as the representation agreement is signed, the attorney will begin working to have the DUI charges dismissed so the criminal record remains clean.
With significant jail time and monetary fines at risk, anyone arrested and charged with DUI in Montana should hire an attorney if there is any hope of winning the case in court. Another possibility to avoid DUI charges is to have the attorney plead out to a lesser charge of wet reckless. While you will still face penalties and fines, they will not be as significant as DUI penalties. For more information and to find a licensed, local attorney, please fill out the FREE DUI Arrest Evaluation Form!