Criminal Mediation for DUI in Montana

Montana law allows for criminal mediation in most charges. Mediation may take place after the commencement of a prosecution but before the verdict. Entering into criminal mediation for a DUI in Montana requires a referral by a judge to a mediator chosen by the judge. The judge may choose to make such a referral on his own or upon motion by a party. When a party motions for criminal mediation, the consent of all the parties is required before the judge can make a referral.

The law lists 11 offenses which cannot be referred to criminal mediation: deliberate homicide, mitigated deliberate homicide, intimidation, partner family member assault, assault on a minor, stalking, aggravated kidnapping, sex crimes, endangering the welfare of a minor, sexual abuse of children, and ritual abuse of a minor. Because Driving Under the Influence of alcohol or drugs is not listed, it is permissible to enter into criminal mediation for both misdemeanor DUI and felony DUI in Montana.

Most importantly, any aspect of or issue in the proceeding may be the subject of the mediation, including but not limited to the charge, a plea bargain, or a recommended sentence. Of course, as with any plea bargain – a judge does not have to abide by a recommended sentence (but they usually do).

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