Montana has a simple process for allowing people to get their property back when it was seized as evidence in a criminal case and the case is over. For example, when a criminal defendant steals a gun the rightful owner can get the gun back after the criminal proceeding is over. Criminal defendants can get their property back, too.

The process for getting property back is Montana Code Annotated 46-5-312. It provides that a person who has the right to possession of the property may apply to the judge for its return. The judge will notify the prosecution and anyone else who might have an interest in the property. A judge will order the return of the property if, after a hearing: (1) the person seeking the return of the property establishes his or her right to possess the property, (2) the property is not contraband, (3) it is not needed as evidence anymore, (4) the property is needed by the owner and arrangements can be made to get it again for evidence if necessary, or (5) all proceedings in the criminal case (such as an appeal or appeal period) are over.

If you need your property back, or if you are a criminal defense attorney who, for whatever reason, does not want to undertake a return-of-property case, contact Greg Overstreet at the Overstreet Law Group.

(This information is of a general nature; exceptions to these general statements might exist. This information is for general educational purposes only; no attorney-client relationship is formed unless a person enters into a written representation agreement with Overstreet Law Group, LLC.)