Under Montana law, a murder involves the premeditated and intentional killing of another person or a fetus. Montana Code section 45-5-102 addresses murders, and it classifies them as deliberate homicides. In other states, the crime is often referred to as first-degree murder. Under section 45-5-102, a person commits or is accountable for a deliberate homicide if he or she purposefully or knowingly causes the death of another human being. Here are just a few examples of when a person might be charged with deliberate homicide in Montana. They include accountability during the commission or attempted commission of a robbery, sexual intercourse without consent, arson, burglary, kidnapping, aggravated kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault or any other forcible felony.
The Death Penalty
Montana has a death penalty, so long as the offender was 18 years old at the time of the commission of the crime. As opposed to a few other states, lethal injection is the only way that an offender might be executed in Montana. Otherwise, a conviction for the crime of deliberately killing another person is punishable by a sentence of a minimum of 10 years and up to 100 years in prison.
Felony Murder Doctrine
The felony murder doctrine contemplates deaths that occur during or shortly after the commission of certain specified felonies like robbery, arson, kidnapping or burglary. Montana’s felony murder law is found at Montana Code section 45-5-102(b). The death of the victim need not be premeditated or purposeful. Intent is irrelevant under the felony murder doctrine. Even an accidental death can be prosecuted as a murder under this rule.
Contact a Missoula Murder Defense Lawyer
You’ll want to speak with us if you believe that you’re a person of interest in a murder investigation. The law doesn’t require you to answer any questions that investigators might ask you. You have the right to remain silent, so invoke that right. It’s perfectly legal for the police to lie to you during their investigation, so keep the fact in mind that anything you say can be used against you. If you’re taken into custody, and you tell investigators that you wish to speak with your lawyer, they’re not allowed to ask you any other questions without your lawyer being present.
The defense attorney who you select to represent you in a murder investigation or charge could be the most important decision that you might make in your lifetime. Make the right choice. Retaining an aggressive and effective Missoula criminal defense attorney significantly improves your chances of a favorable outcome.