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Montana Expungement Laws

If you have spent any time surfing the web, then you have become familiar with the concept of leaving a virtual footprint behind. A perfect example of this can be found with a visit to Once you shop for or purchase an item, the Amazon algorithms kick into gear and find all the products they think you want to buy and recommend them for you. You didn't ask for this, but its part of the price you pay for going on line. Something else that will follow you wherever you go is an arrest record. Whether you intentionally committed a crime or were in the wrong place at the wrong time, that arrest record is going to stick unless you can find a way to clear it up. Fortunately, Montana expungement laws allow you to legal wipe out those minor offenses and put your life back on track with a clear record.

When your record is expunged, it means that whatever was previously for public view can no longer be accessed without a court order and probable cause. Right now, anyone can look up the record of anyone else. What they find depends on what is in the system. In Montana, a mistaken arrest, a case dismissed, or a not guilty verdict can be positive grounds for obtaining an expungement.

If you are convicted of a misdemeanor and serve your sentence, you could file for an expungement in Montana. However, a conviction of a felony or of a sex offense will not be eligible for an expungement. The only way that could happen in those instances is if that crime is actually reversed.

To file for a Montana expungement, you need to file a petition with the court. This will eventually lead to a hearing before a judge, but first you need to get the paperwork in order. Just like making sure you have a solid estate planning or professional tax filings, you should also work with a lawyer who has experience in expungement. Navigating through the court system takes a lot of practice. A Montana attorney will know the jurisdictions and the clerks. Having that kind of guidance on your side is the best way to make sure your expungement process goes as smoothly as possible. Once your expungement is granted, those records will be sealed and you can get back to living your life without fear of being haunted by a past mistake.

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