Criminal records in Montana aren’t as accessible as those found in other states unless law enforcement agencies are the ones who would request for these for criminal justice purposes. In other states, criminal records are readily accessible or can be viewed by individuals after issuing a formal request. In Montana, the accessibility of criminal records need to go through deliberations first. According to the Right of Privacy Article II, section 10 of the Montana constitution, upholding the privacy of the individual is of the utmost importance and the disclosing of personal information, albeit criminal, should only be considered if it is in the best interest of the state. That is why some may have difficulty in obtaining criminal information that is contained in the state of Montana.
The public is barred from checking out some select records, mostly information concerning the investigation of a crime. One cannot freely do background checks on anyone nor do research on recorded crimes. The department handling Montana’s criminal records are the ones who determine which information can be disseminated and which cannot. This process of determination is done from case to case. One will have to wait for the department’s go-signal before one can perform either a name or fingerprint search.
A fee is required in conducting background checks. A name search on the online database through the state department justice can cost you $11 (which can be paid via credit card). Name and fingerprint searches can also be requested for $10 by sending it to the Montana Criminal Records in Helena.