Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 1. General Provisions

Absence Of Defendant On Receiving Verdict Or At Sentencing

46-16-123. Absence of defendant on receiving verdict or at sentencing. (1) In all misdemeanor cases, the verdict may be returned and the sentence imposed without the defendant being present.

(2) (a) In all felony cases, the defendant shall appear in person when the verdict is returned or the sentence is imposed unless, after the exercise of due diligence to procure the defendant's presence, the court finds that it is in the interest of justice that the verdict be returned and the sentence be pronounced in the defendant's absence.

(b) For purposes of subsection (2)(a), the defendant's appearance may be 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. 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. Sec. 128, Ch. 800, L. 1991; amd. Sec. 4, Ch. 222, L. 2005.