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How to Get a Felony Off Your Record in Montana

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A felony has a big impact on a person’s life and if you live in Montana, you’ve come here trying to find out how to get the felony off your record.  Realize that with all felony records, there are three options you can take.  1) Expunge Your Record2) Seal Your Record,3) Request a Pardon of Your RecordThe problem though is that all states don’t offer all three of these options. But before we get into what Montana offers, let’s review what each of these options actually mean.

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Expungement

If you get your record expunged in Montana it’s as if your arrest and/or charges never happened. Your record is completely destroyed, including all physical and public records. When asked if have a criminal record, after expungement, you can truthfully answer “no”.

Record Sealing

Sealing your record in Montana is similar to expungement, but your record still exists in a limited form. The public does not have access to your record, but there are some exceptions. Your records can still be accessed by law enforcement and the courts. Record sealing is not as secure as expungement, but it is a reasonable alternative that is comparatively easier to obtain if your state offers it.

Pardons

If you receive a pardon in Montana, you still have record of your arrest or charge, but your guilt is exonerated. That is, you have proven that you are rehabilitated and forgiven for your crimes. You can also get relief in terms of having various rights restored, such as your right to vote. The requirements for pardons vary between states, but typically there is a lot of documentation required, and includes lengthy waiting periods to apply and receive a pardon.

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Things to Know Before You Start

First: It’s important to understand that every state is different in terms of what methods are available for felons to remove their record and the information below will help you understand what you can do in Montana.

Felony Expungement in Montana

Yes, it is possible to expunge your felony in Montana but it depends on the felony.

Sealing a Recordin Montana

Yes, it is possible to seal your record in Montana but it depends on the felony.

Getting a Pardonin Montana

Yes, it is possible to get a pardon of your record in Montana but it depends on the felony.

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Second: When trying to clear your record, you really have two options.  The first is to get a free consultation from a lawyer to see what they think of your case, and the second is to try to do all of the paperwork yourself.

Third: We HIGHLY recommend that you get a free consultation from a lawyer prior to taking any action.  We say this because whether you want to expunge, seal, or pardon your record, it’s an extremely complicated process.  Failure to follow the process properly can end up with you being denied for the request and having to wait additional time (sometimes several years) before you can file again.  In addition, getting an expungement lawyer can increase your odds of succeeding and sometimes it’s more affordable than you think.  The first step is to click on the button below to confirm that you’re eligible for the expungement/sealing of your record.

TAKE THE ELIGIBILITY TESTQuick NavigationCan You Expunge a Felony in Montana?How to Expunge a Felony in MontanaCan You Seal Your Criminal Record in Montana?How to Seal Your Criminal Record in MontanaCan You Apply for a Pardon in Montana?How to Apply for a Pardon in Montana

Can You Expunge a Felony in Montana?

Montana has enacted a law authorizing the courts to limit public access to adult criminal records. House Bill 168 gives district courts the power to expunge records of misdemeanor convictions. Unfortunately, the key word is misdemeanor and not felony. Felonies are not eligible for expungement. Unless you have mitigating circumstances.

Montana’s expungement law allows anyone convicted of misdemeanors, no matter the number or seriousness of the offence, an opportunity to total clear a criminal record. In Montana, expungement means to permanently destroy, erase, or delete the records of an offense from a criminal history. Fingerprints do remain for investigative purposes.

There are certain serious crimes where expungement is not presumed unless “the interests of public safety demand otherwise.”  You can read more about the law here.

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CANNOT EXPUNGE IF…

<ol><li>You have committed other crimes either in the state of Montana or other states,</li><li>There are one or more convictions for assault under 45-5-021. This includes partner or family members under 45-5-206, stalking 45-5-220,</li><li>Violation of a protective order under 45-5-626,</li><li>You have been convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  Look at Title 61, Chapter 8, part 4.</li><li>Montana law states that you can apply for expungement, and that request will be looked at by the prosecutor and a recommendation will be filed with the court.</li></ol>

How to Expunge a Felony in Montana

<ol><li>Before you begin this process, we insist that you <a draggable=”false” href=”https://www.felonyrecordhub.com/test/expungement”>take this eligibility test</a> to determine if you’re eligible to expunge your record.</li><li>If you are eligible, you should talk to the lawyer that we refer you to so that you get an idea of the price for their services (it’s likely cheaper than you think because expungements are mostly paperwork) and see what other helpful information they can give you.</li><li>If you are <u>not</u> eligible for expungement based on our test, then you should stop here.</li><li>If you are eligible based on our test and want to do this without a lawyer, continue reading.</li><li>Get together all your documents that prove the reversing a conviction on appeal or records to prove you have completed the condition of your sentence. You can this search through CHOPRS or mail.</li><li><a href=”https://media.dojmt.gov/wp-content/uploads/Expungement-Request-Form.pdf”>Download the expungement form by clicking here</a>.</li><li>An incomplete record will require research by the Montana Criminal Records Identification Services Section. This department can remove non-convictions.</li><li>The process takes about 30 days.</li><li>Convictions are not eligible for expungement unless by order of the Supreme Court of Montana.</li></ol><p>Conviction on sexual offenses or violent crimes that were overturned on appeal require all records to be expunged.<br /><br /></p>

Can You Seal Your Criminal Record in Montana?

Sealing your criminal records in Montana means you have removed these records from public access. There may be circumstances when sealed records can be reopened. Law enforcement agencies may always be able to view sealed records.

You can seal your records if you were released without charge, found not guilty, conviction was overturned. If you were convicted but received a deferred sentence, successfully completed the conditions of your sentence, you may request the verdict and plea be sealed.

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CANNOT SEAL IF…

<ol><li>You have committed other crimes either in the state of Montana or other states,</li><li>There are one or more convictions for assault under 45-5-021. This includes partner or family members under 45-5-206, stalking 45-5-220,</li><li>Violation of a protective order under 45-5-626,</li><li>You have been convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  Look at Title 61, Chapter 8, part 4.</li><li>Your record has not been dismissed. You can contact the court to get this taken care of.</li><li>You have not met the requirements of sentencing including probation, fines, and restitution.</li><li>Violent and sex related convictions are not eligible for sealing unless by order of the Supreme Court of Montana.</li></ol>

How to Seal Your Criminal Record in Montana

<p>When your record is sealed, it cannot be accessed by trying to find criminal records. If you are being considered for employment or trying to get a loan these records cannot be looked at during a background check. You are legally able to deny the criminal records. The records still exist, but only a court order to unseal the records can make those accounts accessible.</p><p>The procedure to get a criminal record sealed by a court in Montana is a complicated process involving several steps:</p><ol><li>Before you begin this process, we insist that you <a draggable=”false” href=”https://www.felonyrecordhub.com/test/expungement”>take this eligibility test</a> to determine if you’re eligible to seal your record.</li><li>If you are eligible, you should talk to the lawyer that we refer you to so that you get an idea of the price for their services (it’s likely cheaper than you think because expungements are mostly paperwork) and see what other helpful information they can give you.</li><li>If you are <u>not</u> eligible to seal your record based on our test, then you should stop here.</li><li>If you are eligible to seal your record based on our test and want to do this without a lawyer, continue reading.</li><li>Contact a Montana public criminal history record check at CHOPRS or you can mail in a request</li><li>Make sure your charges are not deferred, but in a dismissed status. Contact the court to requested that all deferred sentences be dismissed.</li><li>After you have had your records sealed or expunged, check against with the criminal records division. There are times when these situations do not get completed.</li></ol>

Can You Apply for a Pardon in Montana?

Just like expunging and sealing, it is possible to apply for a pardon in Montana.  The entire process is outlined below.

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CANNOT PARDON IF…

<ol><li>You committed a crime in another state</li><li>You have addition and pending charges, haven’t paid your detainers, or any liabilities to the state that are more than $1000</li><li>Unpaid court costs</li><li>Victim restitution not paid</li><li>Currently in jail or prison or on parole.</li></ol>

How to Apply for a Pardon in Montana

The governor may grant pardons, commutations, and suspend all fines and forfeitures. You can apply for a pardon any time after you have been convicted. The law states that you can apply for a pardon after any felony or misdemeanor conviction. Do keep I mind that most pardon applications are denied in Montana.

<ol><li>Before you begin this process, we insist that you <a href=”https://www.felonyrecordhub.com/test/expungement”>take this eligibility test</a> to determine if you’re eligible to request a pardon for your record.  In most cases, if you are eligible for expungement on our test, then you’ll be eligible for a pardon.</li><li>If you are eligible, you should talk to the lawyer that we refer you to so that you get an idea of the price for their services (it’s likely cheaper than you think because requesting a pardon is mostly paperwork) and see what other helpful information they can give you. </li><li>If you are <u>not</u> eligible based on our test, then you should stop here. </li><li>If you are eligible based on our test and want to do this without a lawyer, continue reading.</li><li>No fees are required.</li><li>Obtain your criminal record at the Criminal Records and Identification Services in Helena, MT. Log onto www.doj.state.mt.us/enforcement/backgroundchecks.asp</li><li><a href=”http://www.doc.la.gov/media/1/PardonParole%20Policies/7.6.17.application.for.pardon.consideration_.out.2017.pdf”>Fill out the forms located on this website</a>.</li><li>Submit on a separate piece of paper the reasons for applying. Include social history and accomplishments that make you deserving of a pardon. Make sure the statement is detailed and genuine.</li><li>Be cooperative while the Board considers you case.</li><li>Attend the hearing on your case. Look your best and bring along support.</li></ol><p>So, there you have it.  Three separate ways to get rid of your record in Montana.  As we’ve said numerous times throughout this page, this is a really complicated process and we highly recommend that you <a draggable=”false” href=”https://www.felonyrecordhub.com/test/expungement”>take this eligibility test</a> prior to taking any action to determine if you are eligible for any of these options.</p>

Please note, the information contained here is not legal advice and is strictly informational.  If you have any further questions about the information above, or in general, you need to contact a lawyer directly.

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