Assault charges in Montana can lead to prison time. A criminal record can affect your ability to get housing and your employment. Assault charges can also hurt your chances of getting custody of your children or of passing a background check.
There are several different circumstances in which Montana law enforcement officers may arrest you and charge you with assault.
Initiating offensive or injurious bodily contact
When you grab ahold of another person, twist their arm and dislocate their shoulder, you could be charged with assault because you caused someone injury. If you touch them in a way intended to cause offense, such as touching their genitals without consent, that could also be grounds for an assault charge under Montana law.
Negligently hurting someone with a weapon
Whether you accidentally hurt someone while cleaning your hunting rifle or because you tripped while walking with a knife that you use for work, you could face assault charges. Whenever one person negligently causes injury to another with a weapon, their actions constitute assault under Montana law.
Causing fear for someone’s safety
Threatening someone with your body language, such as by pulling back your arm as though you are about to punch them, could lead to assault charges. So could verbally threatening them with physical harm. While words on their own may not be enough to get the police to arrest you, threatening physical behavior, especially if done while breaking another law, could lead to assault charges.
Understanding the law can help you make informed decisions if you are facing criminal charges in Montana.