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Mathew Stevenson

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Criminal, DUI-DWI, Divorce & Family Law, Personal Injury

Stevenson Law Office was established by Mathew Stevenson in 2002 and has been serving Western Montana since. Mat Stevenson is a Montana Native, bor... (more)

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Dwight J Schulte

Criminal, Divorce & Family Law, Personal Injury, DUI-DWI
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Leta J. Womack

Juvenile Law, International Other, Family Law, Criminal
Status:  In Good Standing           Licensed:  39 Years

Andrew J. Ries

Juvenile Law, Other, Criminal, Constitutional Law
Status:  In Good Standing           Licensed:  26 Years
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James T Park

Criminal, Election & Political
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Jasper Smith Olson

Criminal, Whistleblower, Toxic Mold & Tort, Personal Injury
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Robin Ammons

Criminal, Toxic Mold & Tort, Civil Rights
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Erika R. Peterman

Criminal, Toxic Mold & Tort, Federal Appellate Practice, Civil Rights
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Erica Grinde

Criminal, Whistleblower, Federal Trial Practice, Health Care Other
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Criminal, Personal Injury, Family Law
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LEGAL TERMS

EXCLUSIONARY RULE

A rule of evidence that disallows the use of illegally obtained evidence in criminal trials. For example, the exclusionary rule would prevent a prosecutor from ... (more...)
A rule of evidence that disallows the use of illegally obtained evidence in criminal trials. For example, the exclusionary rule would prevent a prosecutor from introducing at trial evidence seized during an illegal search.

PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE

One of the most sacred principles in the American criminal justice system, holding that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty. In other words, the prosecu... (more...)
One of the most sacred principles in the American criminal justice system, holding that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty. In other words, the prosecution must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, each element of the crime charged.

BURDEN OF PROOF

A party's job of convincing the decisionmaker in a trial that the party's version of the facts is true. In a civil trial, it means that the plaintiff must convi... (more...)
A party's job of convincing the decisionmaker in a trial that the party's version of the facts is true. In a civil trial, it means that the plaintiff must convince the judge or jury 'by a preponderance of the evidence' that the plaintiff's version is true -- that is, over 50% of the believable evidence is in the plaintiff's favor. In a criminal case, because a person's liberty is at stake, the government has a harder job, and must convince the judge or jury beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty.

SENTENCE

Punishment in a criminal case. A sentence can range from a fine and community service to life imprisonment or death. For most crimes, the sentence is chosen by ... (more...)
Punishment in a criminal case. A sentence can range from a fine and community service to life imprisonment or death. For most crimes, the sentence is chosen by the trial judge; the jury chooses the sentence only in a capital case, when it must choose between life in prison without parole and death.

PUBLIC DEFENDER

A lawyer appointed by the court and paid by the county, state, or federal government to represent clients who are charged with violations of criminal law and ar... (more...)
A lawyer appointed by the court and paid by the county, state, or federal government to represent clients who are charged with violations of criminal law and are unable to pay for their own defense.

FEDERAL COURT

A branch of the United States government with power derived directly from the U.S. Constitution. Federal courts decide cases involving the U.S. Constitution, fe... (more...)
A branch of the United States government with power derived directly from the U.S. Constitution. Federal courts decide cases involving the U.S. Constitution, federal law--for example, patents, federal taxes, labor law and federal crimes, such as robbing a federally chartered bank--and cases where the parties are from different states and are involved in a dispute for $75,000 or more.

CAPITAL CASE

A prosecution for murder in which the jury is also asked to decide if the defendant is guilty and, if he is, whether he should be put to death. When a prosecuto... (more...)
A prosecution for murder in which the jury is also asked to decide if the defendant is guilty and, if he is, whether he should be put to death. When a prosecutor brings a capital case (also called a death penalty case), she must charge one or more 'special circumstances' that the jury must find to be true in order to sentence the defendant to death. Each state (and the federal government) has its own list of special circumstances, but common ones include multiple murders, use of a bomb or a finding that the murder was especially heinous, atrocious or cruel.

INFORMATION

The name of the document, sometimes called a criminal complaint or petition in which a prosecutor charges a criminal defendant with a crime, either a felony or ... (more...)
The name of the document, sometimes called a criminal complaint or petition in which a prosecutor charges a criminal defendant with a crime, either a felony or a misdemeanor. The information tells the defendant what crime he is charged with, against whom and when the offense allegedly occurred, but the prosecutor is not obliged to go into great detail. If the defendant wants more specifics, he must ask for it by way of a discovery request. Compare indictment.

ARREST

A situation in which the police detain a person in a manner that, to any reasonable person, makes it clear she is not free to leave. A person can be 'under arre... (more...)
A situation in which the police detain a person in a manner that, to any reasonable person, makes it clear she is not free to leave. A person can be 'under arrest' even though the police have not announced it; nor are handcuffs or physical restraint necessary. Questioning an arrested person about her involvement in or knowledge of a crime must be preceded by the Miranda warnings if the police intend to use the answers against the person in a criminal case. If the arrested person chooses to remain silent, the questioning must stop.

SAMPLE LEGAL CASES

State v. McWilliams

... At about the same time, Johns and Curry each brought complaints against McWilliams in relation to the check transactions described above. ¶14 In February 2002, the State brought criminal charges against McWilliams for theft and issuing bad checks. ...

Whitlow v. State

... 05-128. Supreme Court of Montana. Submitted on Briefs February 23, 2006. Decided April 22, 2008. 862 For Appellant: Jeffrey T. Renz, Attorney at Law, Jason Lazark, Intern, Criminal Defense Clinic, University of Montana School of Law, Missoula, Montana. For Appellee: Hon. ...

State v. Rosling

... appeals from his conviction and sentence in the District Court for the First Judicial District, Lewis and Clark County, on charges of deliberate homicide, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated burglary, tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, and criminal possession of ...