This page is intended as a simple guide of what is expected of you as a victim/witness when you appear before the court and a brief list of terms you may hear or read during the process.
For more complete and precise information you can contact the courts or the Victim/Witness Advocate.
District Court: (406) 283-2342
Justice Court: (406) 283-2412
Libby City Court: (406) 293-4440
What the Criminal Justice Stystem Expects from You:
Please appear in Court at scheduled times. You are needed for a successful prosecution.
Please be truthful when questioned by both the prosecuting attorney and the defense attorney.
Please provide all information requested by law enforcement officials.
The system may seem to move slowly at times; however, all persons want to see justice served and it is important that speediness not take the place of accuracy and truthfulness.
A basic list of terms you may hear or need to know:
- Accused (defendant)
Person charged with committing the crime.
A crime that may be punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for up to 1 year and/or a fine of $1,000.
The County or City Attorney. They represent the State of Montana on behalf of the victim.
A sworn, written document that formally charges someone with committing a crime.
- Warrant (arrest)
A court order signed by a judge allowing for arrest of the accused.
A court order telling the accused to appear at a court hearing on his/her own at a specified date and time.
udge reads the charges and informs the accused of the maximum sentence. If an attorney is asked for, bails is set and a time for the accused to return with their attorney and make a plea.
The defendant’s formal response to the charges.
A dollar amount given as security that the defendant will appear in court. Guaranteeing this amount allows for release from jail.
Payment by a defendant for costs associated with the crime. These can be paid to the victim and/or to government agencies.
- Victims Rights
• Consultation with the prosecutor, or representative of their office, regarding the nature of the case.
• Notification of proceedings relating to the person’s case.