Montana Code Annotated 2021



Part 1. General Provisions

Plea Of Guilty -- Use Of Two-Way Electronic Audio-Video Communication

46-16-105. Plea of guilty -- use of two-way electronic audio-video communication. (1) Before or during trial, a plea of guilty must be accepted, and a plea of nolo contendere may be accepted with the consent of the court and the prosecutor, when:

(a) subject to the provisions of subsection (3), the defendant enters a plea of guilty or nolo contendere in open court; and

(b) the court has informed the defendant of the consequences of the plea and of the maximum penalty provided by law that may be imposed upon acceptance of the plea.

(2) At any time before judgment or, except when a claim of innocence is supported by evidence of a fundamental miscarriage of justice, within 1 year after judgment becomes final, the court may, for good cause shown, permit the plea of guilty or nolo contendere to be withdrawn and a plea of not guilty substituted. A judgment becomes final for purposes of this subsection (2):

(a) when the time for appeal to the Montana supreme court expires;

(b) if an appeal is taken to the Montana supreme court, when the time for petitioning the United States supreme court for review expires; or

(c) if review is sought in the United States supreme court, on the date that that court issues its final order in the case.

(3) For purposes of this section, an entry of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere through the use of two-way electronic audio-video communication, allowing all of the participants to be heard in the courtroom by all present and allowing the party speaking to be seen, is considered to be an entry of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere in open court. Audio-video communication may be used if neither party objects and the court agrees to its use and has informed the defendant that the defendant has the right to object to its use. The audio-video communication must operate as provided in 46-12-201.

History: En. 95-1902 by Sec. 1, Ch. 196, L. 1967; R.C.M. 1947, 95-1902; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 163, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 16, Ch. 395, L. 1999; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 96, L. 2003; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 346, L. 2003; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 222, L. 2005; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 144, L. 2013.