Montana Domestic Abuse Laws and How to Get Help for Domestic Abuse
The month of October is the Domestic Abuse Awareness month. Domestic Abuse is considered to be a crime in the State of Montana. There are various Domestic Abuse Laws in place to protect the victim and penalize the abuser.
Domestic abuse is any form of abuse done by a family member or partner. Domestic abuse includes physical abuse, emotional abuse, economic abuse, and harassment and stalking.
It the form of domestic abuse that can be the most easily recognized. Physical abuse can be reported if you are the victim, a minor, any person you know or if an animal is being physically abused. Any aggressive physical contact should never be treated lightly. Any form of hostile physical contact should be considered abusive. Some people believe if it does not cause permanent damage or marks then it is not physical abuse. If any person physically hurts another without the victim’s consent then it is considered physical abuse. Enlisted are a few instances of physical abuse:
- Pushing or shoving.
- Punching or slapping.
- Biting, grabbing, spitting or scratching.
- Throwing things to dominate or hurt.
- Hurting or threatening to hurt your pets, children or any other loved ones.
- Strangling or burning.
- Threatening to attack or attacking with a weapon.
- Death threats.
Domestic Abuse Laws in Montana
The Domestic Abuse Laws in Montana are given under statute 45-5-206 of the criminal law. In the State of Montana a person can be charged with domestic abuse if they assault a family member or partner under the following circumstances:
- Knowingly or purposely causes physical injury to their partner or family member.
- Negligence with a weapon that caused bodily injury to the partner or family member.
- Knowingly or purposely causes reasonable apprehension of a family member or partner.
For the above section the below definition applies:
Persons: Person can be referred to as a person who is in an intimate relationship with the victim, spouse, former spouse, people who have a child in common, or any person that you are dating.
Family member: Here the family members can mean father, mother, brother, sister and other present or past member of the family or household. The relationships include the ones created by marriage or adoption. These include stepparents, stepchildren, adoptive parents and children, and in-laws. Relationships are valid regardless of whether the parties stay in the same household or their age.
Penalties for Domestic Abuse in Montana
For a first time offender, the imprisonment sentence is a maximum of one year and a minimum of one day, along with or instead of a fine of $100 to $1000.
Any person who is charged for the second time with domestic abuse in Montana is fined in between $300 and $1000. And is sentenced for a minimum of three days to a maximum of one year.
If the offender is charged with a third conviction for assaulting an animal, a family member or partner then he or she shall be fined $500 to $50000 and imprisonment for a minimum of one month and a maximum of five years. If the prison sentence exceeds more than one year then the offender will be held in a state prison otherwise they will be kept in county jail.
Get Help for Domestic Abuse
The Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence is an organization formed by individuals who work together to end sexual violence and domestic abuse. They wish to achieve their target by Public education, advocacy, public policy and public development about domestic abuse in Montana. Their 24X7 Domestic violence hotline number is 1-800-700-7233. To report domestic violence call 911 or get in touch with this organization for support.
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