Montana Arrest Records and Warrant Search

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Montana Arrest Records

Montana Arrest Records constitute documentation of persons apprehended by law enforcement bodies within the state’s jurisdiction. These records encompass pertinent details like the person’s name, the date of arrest, and the nature of the charges, among other significant data. Montana’s law and order history, tracing back to the 1800s, is abundantly reflected in these arrest records, bearing witness to its long-established legacy. Whether the crime is minor or severe, the individuals chronicled within Montana’s arrest records provide insight into the state’s criminal environment.

What are arrest records?

“Arrests records” is the popular term used to indicate the criminal history information held by state and local justice agencies. The Department of Justice keeps the statewide repository of information on criminal matters. The Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), a part of the agency, plays an integral role in meeting the public safety goals set by the DOJ. It is also integral to law enforcement and criminal processing in the state. The division comprises four branches, of which two are of particular interest to anybody interested in arrest records from M.T. and information on active warrants.

Montana Criminal Records provide a wide look at an individual’s criminal history within the state. They include arrest dates, charges, mugshots, and other relevant information and can be obtained through official government websites or public record request processes. These records offer a wealth of information for various purposes, including background checks and keeping informed about criminal activity in the state.

The Investigative Bureau:

The Bureau’s agents work in many capacities, from supporting Montana Fire Marshalls to investigating Medicaid fraud and even handling internet and computer fraud cases. Of particular importance is the fact that the I.B. is responsible for maintaining the sex offender registry of Montana, which is an online searchable database of violent and predatory offenders.

The Montana Department of Corrections:

Oversees the supervision of felony offenders, and their essential criminal records are stored in the Correctional Offender Network (CON), an internet database maintained by the state.

Criminal Records and Identification Services Section (CRISS):

This wing of the DCI is responsible for maintaining the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS), which is the repository used to run crime scene fingerprints against millions of images collected over the last several years from all law enforcement agencies in the state. The database is also linked to the FBI crime repository.

The Section has also been charged with gathering other crime-related information from the state’s judicial and law enforcement agencies. It exercises authority over disseminating this data to justice agencies and applicants who are lawfully permitted access to this information.

Warrant searches offered by the DCI

CRISS offers inquiries on active warrants and arrest records from M.T. based on the subject’s identifiers and those that yield results based on fingerprint matches. The response received to the latter is more accurate since it is a positive match than possible matches found through a name-based warrant search.

Fingerprint inquiries can be initiated by the subject of the record or legislatively authorized agencies, including law enforcement departments, while name-based searches are open to all. It must be understood here that criminal history data is divided into personal and public, with the latter being the lowdown on conviction cases only.

When requested for non-criminal justice purposes; for instance, by individual applicants and commercial firms that are not legislatively given the right to request complete criminal history details, CRISS will only release limited criminal history information that is restricted to what is publicly available. On the other hand, when sought for justice purposes, criminal history records will be responded to with a complete criminal profile of the subject.

The data is thus often used to make sentencing determinations and licensing decisions when issuing weapons permits, background checks of employees working in the healthcare, medical, and school services sectors, assisting in the prosecution of an accused, and even when granting probation or parole.

What are arrest warrants?

Montana Code Annotated, Section 46-6-21 provides an explanation of the procedure followed for the issuance of arrest warrants. These directives are issued in criminal matters by judicial entities that have the authority to oversee the trial of such cases. Typically, the police will approach the magistrate’s court for an active warrant in Montana. However, as the case is bound to a higher tribunal, the judge of this court can issue an arrest warrant.

Section 46-6-21 states that an active warrant can only be issued if it appears from the complaint filed by the police in court that a criminal infraction did occur and that there is a strong possibility that it was commissioned by the suspect named in the petition. This determination of probable cause can be made exclusively based on the sworn and signed complaint or through the examination of witnesses.

The court has it in its discretion to issue a summons instead of an arrest warrant if it is reasonably known that the order for appearance will be obeyed. Generally, when the crime in question is not too serious, and there is no history on the part of the suspect of disobeying tribunal directives, a summons will be released instead of a warrant. This will also be the case if the prosecution requests the magistrate to issue a summons instead of an arrest warrant.

The serving of outstanding warrants from Montana

The powers of peace officers working under the provisions of outstanding warrants have been discussed in MCA 46-6-215 and 216. These sections clarify that arrest warrants are to be directed at all law enforcement agents in the state. Furthermore, these orders can be executed by a member of the justice community in any part of the state, including outside the county where the arrest warrant was granted.

Active warrants connected to violations of civic or traffic ordinances (not amounting to a felony) can only be served within the city limits unless otherwise provided for by the law or authorized by the magistrate. The last phrase shows that the sitting judge can impose specific restrictions and liberties on arrests as well as the eventual release of the detainee.

For instance, the magistrate may authorize nighttime service even for warrants that have been issued in cases about Class C and D misdemeanors while stating the bail amount that will have to be paid to secure release, even when the matter in question is a felony. While executing an arrest warrant, the police officer taking the accused into custody need not have the original order.

The defendant will have to be apprised that an outstanding warrant from M.T. is out in his name under the provisions of which he is being detained. This requirement is voided if the police officers have to pursue the offender to effect his arrest. Also, informing the accused will imperil the chances of detaining this individual. Yet, after arrests, the suspects will be shown a copy of the warrant as soon as practical.

How to search for an inmate in the Montana Prison System?

The Montana Department of Corrections takes charge of offenders after sentencing and keeps all information about prisoners serving time in the state’s prisons and other correctional facilities. The agency offers an online installation called ConWeb to conduct inquiries on inmates. Although the results of such an investigation cannot replace a background check, it is an excellent way to quickly get the heads up on whether the subject of your inquiry has recently done time for a criminal act.

You will only need the first and last name of the prisoner to find information about him. However, since this is a personal identifier search, the more information offered about the subject, the greater the accuracy of the results. So, it is also advisable to use gender, date of birth, race, and offender status to get more accurate results. If you have the DOC number of the inmate, that is all you would need to get a proper response to your inquiry.

To use the online tool offered by the DOC, go to their website (see image below) and type in the required information. Next, click on search to find the results of your inquiry. You will be given the full name of the convict along with his DOC number, a photograph, charge details, incarceration status and facility, and release and parole dates. Alternatively, you can connect with the DOC by visiting them in person or writing to them at 1539 11th Ave, P.O. Box 201301Helena, MT 59620. Victims can register with the agency to receive immediate updates about any changes in the status of a specific inmate, such as release or the granting of amnesty. To avail of this service, call the DOC on 888-223-6332

DOC Montana

Who can search for arrest records and warrants in M.T.?

The open records policy followed by the state of Montana means that anybody can access crime history information in the state. However, a distinct differentiation has been made between information that can be offered to the general public under the Criminal Information laws and the data which can only be accessed for criminal justice purposes.

Hence, a civilian applicant can expect to receive information on cases with a conviction or deferred judgment. Matters dismissed during the trial and information about the criminal processes brought to use in such cases will not be mentioned in the background report.

How to Request Records under the Montana Public Records Act?

Launching online and mailed-in inquiries for information on M.T. arrest records and active warrants is possible. The DCI offers name-based checks online at For multiple inquiries, you can register with the site. However, if you only want to conduct a single warrant search, click on the “public users” tab and the “start service” button. You will need the full name of the individual and the date of birth, at the least, to initiate the inquiry. A social security number is optional, but it can significantly enhance the accuracy of the results.

Including four aliases in the search is also possible for no additional cost. You will also be asked to furnish information about yourself, the applicant, to comply with MCA 44-5-215. You will be charged $11.50 for every inquiry, which can be paid by credit card. A monthly bill will be generated for registered users.

To request information on criminal history through the mail, you can send information for a name-based inquiry or the fingerprints to Montana Criminal Records, 2225 11th Avenue, P.O. Box 201403, Helena, MT 59620-1403. Further information can be sought by writing to the agency at [email protected] or calling 406-444-3625. Mailed-in warrant searches are charged at $10 per inquiry, whether it is a name-based or fingerprint-based search. Submit the required information, a self-addressed envelope, and a check or money order for the fee.