Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 2. Form of Sentence

Sentencing Of Nonviolent Felony Offenders -- Criteria -- Alternatives To Be Considered -- Court To State Reasons For Imprisonment

46-18-225. Sentencing of nonviolent felony offenders -- criteria -- alternatives to be considered -- court to state reasons for imprisonment. (1) In sentencing a nonviolent felony offender, the sentencing judge shall first consider alternatives to imprisonment of the offender in a state prison, including placement of the offender in a community corrections facility or program, a prerelease center, a prerelease program, or a day reporting program provided for in 53-1-203. In considering alternatives to imprisonment, the sentencing judge shall examine the sentencing criteria contained in subsection (2).

(2) Prior to sentencing a nonviolent felony offender to whom 46-18-219 does not apply to a term of imprisonment in a state prison, the sentencing judge shall take into account whether:

(a) the interests of justice and the needs of public safety truly require the level of security provided by imprisonment of the offender in a state prison;

(b) the needs of the offender can be better served in the community or in a facility or program other than a state prison;

(c) there are substantial grounds tending to excuse or justify the offense, though failing to establish a defense;

(d) the offender acted under strong provocation;

(e) the offender has made restitution or will make restitution to the victim of the offender's criminal conduct;

(f) the offender has no prior history of conviction for a criminal act or, if the offender has a prior history of conviction for a criminal act, the offender has led a law-abiding life for a substantial period of time before the commission of the present crime;

(g) the offender's criminal conduct was the result of circumstances that are unlikely to recur;

(h) the character and attitude of the offender indicate that the offender is likely to commit another crime;

(i) the offender is likely to respond quickly to correctional or rehabilitative treatment; and

(j) imprisonment of the offender would create an excessive hardship on the offender or the offender's family.

(3) If the judge sentences the offender to a state prison, the judge shall state the reasons why the judge did not select an alternative to imprisonment, based on the criteria contained in subsection (2).

History: En. Sec. 4, Ch. 794, L. 1991; amd. Sec. 66, Ch. 10, L. 1993; amd. Sec. 15, Ch. 482, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 215, Ch. 546, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 7, Ch. 189, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 9, Ch. 52, L. 1999; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 517, L. 2005.