Montana’s version of Megan’s law protects the residents of the state from the menace of sex offenders. The law ensures that sex offenders in the state register with the state’s Department of Justice. Montana’s sex offender’s law classifies sex offenders into 3 tiers;
Tier 1 offenders (Low-risk offenders)
Tier 2 offenders (Moderate- risk offenders)
Tier 3 offenders (high-risk offenders)
This classification depends on the nature of the sex crime by the offender. The duration of registration also depends on the class of the offender:
Tier 1 offenders register for 10 years
Tier 2 offenders register for 25 years
Tier 3 offenders register for a lifetime
Sex offenders in Montana must register with the state’s Justice Department within 10 days of release from a correction facility. Sex offenders on probation or parole must register within 3 days after sentencing by the department.
Persons convicted for sex crimes in another state but who wishes to attend school, work, or move to Montana must register within 3 days of entering the state. Verification of address depends on the classification of the offender:
12 months for Tier 1 Sex offenders
Every 180 days for Tier 2 sex offenders
Every 90 days for Tier 3 sex offenders
The Montana Sex Offender Registry manages the information on sex offenders in the state. The registry works under the state’s department of justice. Information on sex offenders in Montana is available to residents through the registry’s website.
Unlawful restraint (if the victim is under 18 and the offender is not a parent of the victim) - MONT. CODE ANN § 45-5-301 (West 2008).
Kidnapping - MONT. CODE ANN. § 45-5-302 (West 2008).
Aggravated kidnapping - MONT. CODE ANN. § 45-5-303 (West 2008).
Sexual assault - Mont. Code Ann. § 45-5-502(3)
Sexual intercourse without consent - MONT. CODE ANN. § 45-5-503 (West 2008).
Indecent exposure (if the victim is under 18 and the offender is 18 years of age or older) - MONT. CODE ANN. § 45-5-504(1) (West 2008).
Indecent exposure - MONT. CODE ANN. § 45-5-504(2)(c) (West 2008).
Incest (if the victim is under 18 and the offender is more than 3 years older than the victim) - MONT.CODE ANN. § 45-5-507 (West 2008).
Aggravated promotion of prostitution - MONT. CODE ANN. § 45-5-603(1)(b) (West 2008).
Sexual abuse of children - MONT. CODE ANN. § 45-5-625 (West 2008).
Any attempt, solicitation, or conspiracy to commit one of the offences listed above.
Any violation of a law of another state or the federal government that is reasonably equivalent to a violation listed above or for which the offender was required to register as a sex offender after conviction.
Deliberate homicide - MONT. CODE ANN. § 45-5-102 (West 2008).
Mitigated deliberate homicide - MONT. CODE ANN. § 45-5-103 (West 2008).
Aggravated assault - MONT. CODE ANN. § 45-5-202 (West 2008).
Partner or family member assault (third or subsequent offense) - MONT. CODE ANN. § 45-5-206 (West 2008).
Assault on a peace officer or judicial officer - MONT. CODE ANN. § 45-5-210(1)(b)-(d) (West 2008).
Assault on a minor - MONT. CODE ANN. § 45-5-212 (West 2008).
Assault with a weapon - MONT. CODE ANN. § 45-5-213 (West 2008).
Robbery - MONT. CODE ANN. § 45-5-401 (West 2008).
Arson - MONT. CODE ANN. § 45-6-103 (West 2008).
Operation of unlawful clandestine laboratory - MONT. CODE ANN. § 45-9-132 (West 2008).
Any attempt, solicitation, or conspiracy to commit one of the offenses listed above.
Any violation of a law of another state or the federal government reasonably equivalent to a violent offense listed above.
Montana's registration law is for both sex offenders and violent offenders.
M.C.A. § 46-23-503 (WEST 2008)
(1) A sexual or violent offender who is released from the custody of the department of corrections must be informed in writing not less than 10 days before the release of the duty to register under this part by the official in charge of the place of confinement.
(2) Before the offender's release from custody, the official shall obtain and give to the department of justice and to the sheriff of the county in which the offender intends to reside or, if the offender intends to reside in a municipality, to the chief of police of the municipality:
The address at which the offender intends to reside upon release from the department's custody;
The offender's fingerprints and photo, unless they are already in possession of the department of justice, sheriff, or chief of police; and
A form signed by and read to or by the offender stating that the offender's duty to register under this part has been explained to the offender.
Community Notification and Websites
M.C.A. § 46-23-508 (WEST 2008)
(b) A law enforcement agency shall release any offender registration information relevant to the public if the agency determines that a registered offender is a risk to the safety of the community and that disclosure of the registration information may protect the public and, at a minimum:
If an offender was given a level 1 designation the agency with which the offender is registered shall notify the agency in whose jurisdiction the offense occurred during the registration;
If an offender was given a level 2 designations, the agency with which the offender is registered may disseminate the offender's name to the public with the notation that the offender is a sexual or violent offender and may notify a victim of the offense and any agency, organization, or group serving persons who have characteristics similar to those of a previous victim
If an offender was given a level 3 designation, the agency should give the victim and the public notification.
The agency shall also include the date of the offender's release from confinement, or if not confined, the date the offender was sentenced, with a notation that the offender was not confined, and shall include the community in which the offense occurred.
(3) A state or local law enforcement agency may use the internet to disseminate the information allowed by this section to the public.
Limitations on Residency or Employment
M.C.A. § 46-18-255 (WEST 2008)
(1) The sentencing judge may impose reasonable employment restrictions upon sexual or violent offenders to protect persons likely to be victims of further offenses by the offender.
(2) Persons convicted of sexual offenses involving a minor who has been designated as a level 3 offender are restricted from living in the proximity of a preschool, elementary or high school, licensed day-care center, church or park maintained by a city, town, or county.
M.C.A. § 46-23-506 (WEST 2008)
(2)(a) 10 years for violent offenders.
(2)(b) Life for:
Violent offenders that have been convicted of failing to keep registration current during the 10-year registration period.
Within 14 days of conviction, release from prison or supervision, coming into a county; 10 days of changing the address
Possible 5-year prison term and up to $10,000 fine
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