Justice Court - Criminal Division
Criminal cases are filed into the Court on a Complaint filed by the County Attorney's office. In custody defendants are seen at 2:30 by video arraignment. Out of custody defendants are seen immediately after video arraignments, usually about 3:00.
Many times, an investigation results in a Complaint being filed long after the alleged crime took place. In these cases, a summons can be issued from the Court, or a Warrant of Arrest may be requested by the County Attorney's office.
Many types of misdemeanor criminal cases are seen in Justice Court. They range from more serious traffic offenses such as Theft, Assault, Drug offenses, and others.
Initial arraignments on Felony cases are handled in Justice Court and a preliminary hearing is scheduled. Usually, felonies are filed directly into District Court around the preliminary hearing date and further inquiries about the case should be directed to District Court at 258-4780.
Defendants convicted of Misdemeanor Drug offenses are required by law to attend the Montana Dangerous Drug program.
DUI 4th or subsequent offenses are felonies and will be transferred to District Court.
Upon conviction of a domestic violence offense, the defendant will be required to complete at their own cost 40 hours of counseling with a focus on violence, dangerousness, and chemical dependency and complete all recommendations of the assessment. The counseling must be performed by (a) a person licensed under Title 37, chapter 17, 22, or 23, MCA; (b) a professional person as defined in 53-21-102, MCA, or (c) a specialized domestic violence intervention program.