Welcome to the Stalking Resource Center

The mission of the Stalking Resource Center is to enhance the ability of professionals, organizations, and systems to effectively respond to stalking.

Montana

This page lists the most applicable state crimes addressing stalking. However, depending on the facts of the case, a stalker might also be charged with other crimes, such as trespassing, intimidation of a witness, breaking and entering, etc. Check your state code or consult with your local prosecutor about other charges that might apply in a particular case.

Stalking
Related Offenses

Analyzing Stalking Laws


Stalking

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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Related Offenses

Mont. Code Anno. § 45-5-223. Surreptitious visual observation or recordation -- place of residence -- public establishment -- exceptions. (1997)
(1)  A person commits the offense of surreptitious visual observation or recordation in a place of residence if a person purposely or knowingly hides, waits, or otherwise loiters in the vicinity of a private dwelling house, apartment, or other place of residence for the purpose of:

(a)  watching, gazing at, or looking upon any occupant in the residence in a surreptitious manner; or

(b)  by means of an electronic or mechanical recording device, surreptitiously recording the visual image of any occupant in the residence.

(2)  An owner, manager, or employee of a business or a landlord who knowingly surreptitiously records a visual image of a person in a restroom, washroom, shower, bedroom, fitting room, or other room used by a customer, guest, tenant, or member of the public to, with a reasonable expectation of privacy, change or try on clothes, bathe, perform intimate bodily functions, or appear nude or partially nude or in underclothes commits the offense of surreptitious visual recordation in a public establishment.

(3)  Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply to a law enforcement officer, an agent or employee of an insurer, or a private investigator licensed pursuant to 37-60-301 or to any person engaged in fraud detection, prevention, or prosecution pursuant to2-15-2015 or 39-71-211 while the officer, agent, employee, or private investigator is acting in the course and scope of employment for legitimate investigative purposes.

(4)  
(a)  A person convicted of the offense of surreptitious visual observation or recordation in a place of residence shall be fined an amount not to exceed $ 500 or be incarcerated in the county jail for a term not to exceed 6 months, or both. Upon a second conviction, a person shall be fined an amount not to exceed $ 1,000 or be incarcerated for a term not to exceed 1 year, or both. Upon a third or subsequent conviction, a person shall be fined an amount not to exceed $ 10,000 or be incarcerated for a term not to exceed 5 years, or both.

(b)  A person convicted of the offense of surreptitious visual recordation in a public establishment shall be fined an amount not to exceed $ 1,000 or incarcerated for a term not to exceed 6 months, or both, if the victim was an adult and shall be fined an amount not to exceed $ 5,000 or incarcerated for a term not to exceed 2 years, or both, if the victim was a minor."

Mont. Code Ann. § 45-8-213. Privacy in communications. (2007)
(1)  Except as provided in 69-6-104, a person commits the offense of violating privacy in communications if the person knowingly or purposely:

(a)  with the purpose to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy, or offend, communicates with a person by electronic communication and uses obscene, lewd, or profane language, suggests a lewd or lascivious act, or threatens to inflict injury or physical harm to the person or property of the person. The use of obscene, lewd, or profane language or the making of a threat or lewd or lascivious suggestions is prima facie evidence of an intent to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy, or offend.

(b)  uses an electronic communication to attempt to extort money or any other thing of value from a person or to disturb by repeated communications the peace, quiet, or right of privacy of a person at the place where thecommunications are received;

(c)  records or causes to be recorded a conversation by use of a hidden electronic or mechanical device that reproduces a human conversation without the knowledge of all parties to the conversation. This subsection (1)(c) does not apply to:
(i) elected or appointed public officials or to public employees when the transcription or recording is done in the performance of official duty;

(ii) persons speaking at public meetings;

(iii) persons given warning of the transcription or recording, and if one person provides the warning, either party may record; or

(iv) a health care facility, as defined in 50-5-101, or a government agency that deals with health care if the recording is of a health care emergency telephone communication made to the facility or agency.

(2)  Except as provided in 69-6-104, a person commits the offense of violating privacy in communications if the person purposely intercepts an electronic communication.This subsection does not apply to elected or appointed public officials or to public employees when the interception is done in the performance of official duty or to persons given warning of the interception.

(3)
(a) A person convicted of the offense of violating privacy in communications shall be fined an amount not to exceed $ 500 or be imprisoned in the county jail for a term not to exceed 6 months, or both.

(b) On a second conviction of subsection (1)(a) or (1)(b), a person shall be imprisoned in the county jail for a term not to exceed 1 year or be fined an amount not to exceed $ 1,000, or both.

(c) On a third or subsequent conviction of subsection (1)(a) or (1)(b), a person shall be imprisoned in the state prison for a term not to exceed 5 years or be fined an amount not to exceed $ 10,000, or both.

(4) "Electronic communication" means any transfer between persons of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photoelectronic, or photo-optical system.

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