To be considered for MTIP’s free legal services, your case must meet the following criteria:
- You must have been convicted of a felony crime in a Montana state or federal court.
- You must have completed your trial, sentencing, and direct appeals.
- You must not currently be represented by an attorney or have access to a public defender.
- We give priority to cases where convincing and corroborating new evidence can establish actual innocence, and we are unlikely to accept a case without independent and verifiable evidence to support innocence claims.
We do not accept:
- Cases from convicted persons who are an admitted accomplice, co-defendant, or co-conspirator, even if the role was relatively minor.
- Cases where the convicted person is solely claiming that their rights were violated or that they were not adequately represented (actual innocence must be the central issue).
- Due to the difficulty of proving innocence in certain types of cases, we usually cannot assist in the event that:
- the convicted person admits to killing or assaulting someone but claims it was done in self–defense.
- the convicted person admits to sexual contact but claims the person consented to the contact.
- the person was convicted as an accessory but claims they did not play a major role in the crime.
We do not:
- Assist convicted people with filing civil suits, legal research, appealing to the Board of Pardons and Parole, or any other issues unrelated to actual innocence.
- Review cases based solely on information given by a friend or family member (the request must be made by the convicted person).
How to request legal assistance:
- Send a letter to Montana Innocence Project P.O. Box 7607 Missoula, MT 59807. Note: the person seeking legal assistance must be the one to request it.
- Include your full name, inmate ID, and address.
- Include a brief explanation of your case, including information about the crime and where your case stands today.
- Include an explanation of any evidence that can help establish your innocence.