Montana Criminal Records Search

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How to Check for Montana Criminal Records

Montana’s Department of Justice has a dedicated website for public access to criminal records. They allow subscription-based searches and one-time public access as well. Each record search costs $14.50. The database has information going back to 1950. You can search online using a name search or send in fingerprints for a more accurate search. A fingerprint search costs $10. Usually, the wait time is less than three days. You can also request notarization at the time of ordering. You can also use an online portal to find criminal records for someone in Montana.

Montana criminal records online

Federal Records vs. Court Criminal Records in Montana

The Montana Judicial Branch website has a lot of great information for the public and can help you locate the correct courthouse to visit to get copies for district criminal court cases. For federal cases, you can use the Public Access to Court Electronic Records system (PACER) system to find and lookup case documents. For district court cases, you will need to visit them in person to request copies.


How Long do Felony or Misdemeanor Charges Last?

Felony crimes will stay on your record for life. Montana does allow, however, some misdemeanors to be expunged from your record following a five-year waiting period. You must also comply with a list of requirements, and you must be free of any further convictions. If you qualify, you can petition the court for expungement. You will have to wait about 30 days for the results. All other crimes will remain on your criminal record forever.


Who Can Lookup your Criminal Background?

Anyone with access to a computer and the Internet can search for and find your criminal record in Montana. This includes neighbors, government agencies, gun dealers, banks, landlords, adoption agencies, friends, and family. You can also look up your own criminal history pretty quickly. You can use the state resources or a third-party online service to search for criminal records.


Why Check Someone’s Filed Criminal Charges?

There are many reasons why someone might check your criminal history. When renting property to total strangers, a landlord might use one because a criminal check can help weed out possible issues. Online dating and buying items online are other reasons why someone might want to look into your criminal past.


Types of Criminal Records

Most criminal records will show warrants, arrests, charges, sentencing, probation, parole details, sex offenses, felonies, misdemeanors, incarcerations, court details and everything else about your criminal history. The report will most likely also have general information like name, phone, address, and physical descriptions. You might even see mug shots and fingerprints too.


How Are MT Criminal Records Created?

When someone is charged with a crime and arrested the paperwork filled out starts a criminal record. After that, any changes that occur or new events get added to the file, and all these forms and documents become someone’s criminal history record. When someone searches for you online, this is what your criminal background will show.