Montana: Assaults on judges would no longer be separate crime subject to heightened penalties

Many, if not most states provide that an assault on judge for the performance of their duties subjects the attacker to additional penalties above and beyond simple assault. In the case on Montana that a part of MCA 45-5-210 “Assault on peace officer or judicial officer.” Now, an effort has been filed (HB 210) to end the enhanced penalty involved with that separate crime.

The present law has been in place since 1997. A 1999 effort to repeal it (SB 213) was filed, arguing in its premable that since the crime of assault on a judicial official was already covered under the state’s general assault statue, the specific statute related to assault of a judge was confusing and discriminatory. That effort was killed in committee.

HB 210 of 2015 has been filed in the House Judiciary Committee.



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