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Criminal Defense Attorneys

Being charged with a criminal offense can be stressful, scary, and life-changing for you and your loved ones.

The criminal defense attorneys at Tipp Coburn & Associates have been protecting the rights of the accused for over 60 years.

Are you involved in a criminal case? Here's why you should contact our Missoula, MT, team as soon as possible.

Request a Free Consultation Today

With each charge against you, the seriousness of your situation increases. Don’t put your rights, your freedom, or your future in jeopardy. Contact Tipp Coburn & Associates for the legal assistance you need to get your life back on track.

With over 130 years of combined legal experience, our lawyers have the knowledge, training, and creativity needed to give you the quality representation you deserve.

To get started, contact us online or call our Missoula law firm:

(406) 549-5186

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"My family and I are forever indebted to Ms. Lockwood. From consultation to resolution (dismissal without prejudice within two weeks of retainer) she remained professional, understanding, and resolute." James Trillsen

Why Choose Us as
Your Criminal Defense Team

Over 60 Years in Practice

Our Missoula, MT, law firm has been practicing criminal defense for over 60 years. Our team is prepared to defend clients against a wide range of criminal charges. Our lawyers will investigate every legal defense available to you, explain your options so you can make the best decision possible, and always treat you with respect.

Criminal Defense Training

Our criminal defense attorneys also have a high degree of training compared to other criminal defense lawyers in the Missoula, MT, area. We know how prosecutors work and are not afraid to take on extremely challenging criminal cases, and we will represent you in a trial if necessary to achieve the best possible results.

Community-Minded Team

We are focused on defending the innocent and exonerating the wrongfully convicted. As a result of our work with the Montana Innocence Project—an organization focused on exonerating the innocent and preventing wrongful convictions—our law firm has been awarded the “Outstanding Law Firm” award.

Free Consultations

Criminal defense can be complex and confusing, and not understanding your rights can hurt the outcome of your case. Fortunately, our Missoula attorneys offer free consultations. When you or a family member call, we can listen to the details of your case and help you determine the next steps.

Recognized Trial & Criminal Defense Lawyers

Our attorneys have been recognized by organizations such as The National Trial Lawyers, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the National College for DUI Defense.

Don't Fight Alone

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With our attorneys by your side, you will have a team to help ensure the best possible outcome for your case. 

We're Here to Help


Elvis Nuno


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Bryan Tipp, Sarah Lockwood, and all of the staff at Tipp Colburn & Associates are top quality and incredibly dedicated. I can’t speak more highly of their dedication and passion for helping those in need.

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Paul Lacey


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Brett was great to work with and extremely knowledgeable. He was able to achieve the best outcome and was great at explaining all of the options. I am happy with his work and would highly recommend Brett Schandelson

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A Team On Your Side When You Need It Most Call Us Today for a Free Consultation

Being charged or even suspected of a crime can be daunting, but that is one of the many reasons it is critically important to have a skilled criminal defense lawyer on your side from the beginning. Our Missoula law firm has received an "Outstanding Law Firm" award from the Montana Innocence Project for our work with other defendants and those suspected a crime. We have a team of criminal defense lawyers with years of practice in criminal law.

If you have been charged with a criminal offense, it is best to contact a lawyer immediately as we can ensure that your rights as the defendant are maintained while we fight tirelessly to get your the best outcome possible. We will investigate every aspect of the case from the available evidence, potential witnesses, and even if there was a prosecutor or law enforcement error that may cause your case to be treated unfavorably. 

Don't risk your freedom. Call us and request a free consultation of your case today. 

(406) 549-5186

Criminal Defense Lawyers
vs. Public Defenders

After you are charged with a criminal offense, you have the option of hiring a lawyer or being appointed a public defender. Here are some reasons to consider partnering with a lawyer at Tipp Coburn & Associates in Missoula for your criminal case:

Private Attorneys Fight
for the Best Outcome

Because public defenders often have a large caseload, they might try to steer you towards a plea bargain offered by the prosecutor to avoid prolonging the case or going to trial. Meanwhile, our Missoula attorneys will only negotiate a plea bargain if we believe it is in your best interests. Also, we are not afraid to go to trial if necessary to achieve your best possible outcome.

Private Attorneys Offer
Easy Communication

Because of their large caseload, public defenders are often not available to take calls from the criminal defense clients that need them most. But at Tipp Coburn & Associates in Missoula, MT, we prioritize personalized attention and fast communication. Our attorneys will keep you informed about the status of your case from the first call to the conclusion of your case.

Criminal Defense Practice Areas

DUI Charges

Our defense attorneys are widely known and well-respected in Montana for our aggressive and effective DUI (driving under the influence) criminal defense work. We aggressively defend you from having your license revoked, paying large fines, increases in insurance premiums, and serving jail time. Oftentimes, we can win a case during pre-trial litigation by filing motions to suppress and motions to dismiss. Types of defenses in a DUI case may include law enforcement error, faulty equipment, or a flawed field sobriety test.

Read More about DUI Defense

Drug Crimes

Montana imposes harsh penalties for drug offenses, so don’t put your rights or your freedom in jeopardy. We stand ready to defend charges for possession, intent to distribute, manufacturing illegal substances, charges involving prescription drugs, and charges involving minors.

Read More about Drug Crimes Defense

Violent Crimes

Being charged with a violent crime in Montana is extremely serious. If you are convicted of a violent crime, you could be sent to prison, possibly for life. Whether you are charged with aggravated assault, assault with a weapon, attempted homicide, or criminal endangerment, we can aggressively represent you and provide strong defenses to the criminal charges.

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Property Crimes

If you have been arrested for robbery, burglary, criminal trespass, shoplifting, or any other property crime, you need a knowledgeable team on your side. Some common legal defenses we use for clients arrested for property crimes include claim of ownership, return of property, restitution, and entrapment.

Read More about Property Crimes Defense

Sex Crimes

Being accused of a sexual offense can be damaging to your reputation and your future. This type of crime often involves contradictory details, and the negative stigma attached to sex crimes can make it difficult for you to get the due process you deserve. As a result, it is essential to have a defense attorney by your side. We aggressively defend allegations of sexual intercourse without consent (rape), sexual assault, prostitution, indecent exposure, and child pornography.

Read More about Sex Crimes Defense

Penalties for Misdemeanors 
and Felonies in Montana

In Montana, the penalty for a felony charge could include prison time of a year or more, while misdemeanor convictions can include jail time of up to one year. Both levels of crime can result in fines, depending on the particular crime.

Montana criminal law states the minimum and maximum sentences for each particular crime. It's up to a judge to decide a defendant's sentence within those parameters.

Examples of Penalties

Prison Fines
Burglary Maximum 20 years in prison Maximum $50,000 fine
Aggravated assault Maximum 20 years in prison Maximum $50,000 fine
Assault Maximum 6 months in jail Maximum $500 fine
Trespassing Maximum 6 months in jail Maximum $500 fine

Certain factors could increase the severity of your penalties.

For example, if you used a dangerous weapon while committing the crime or if the crime is considered a hate crime, your sentence may be increased by two to 10 years.

Additionally, defendants with prior convictions for the same type of crime will often face more serious penalties. Some misdemeanor crimes even carry mandatory prison time or become felonies after repeat offenses. If you are being charged with a repeat offense, contact Tipp Coburn & Associates today. 

Montana's Persistent
Felony Offender Statute 

Under Montana criminal law, if you are facing a third conviction for a violent or sexual felony, there is a minimum sentence of five years in prison.

Greg Fagenstrom


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I can not say enough nice things about Brett and everyone else in the office. He actually listened to what I had to say, knew exactly how to help me, and took the time to walk me through my options and what needed to happen next. It's hard to know who you can trust and who's just telling you what you want to hear, but I never had any doubt Brett was giving me his honest opinion. I would never go anywhere else.

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Theo Gibbs


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I called them today in reference to a situation that occoured in my life. Although I was unable to financially afford their services, the attorney talked me through what I needed to know and do to help handle this myself, and was very encouraging, kind, and good to me even though he knew his time was not being paid for. This is a great place with great people. If I could have afforded the services, I would have taken full time help from them. But even though I can't, that doesn't change the fact that they were willing to take the time out of their day to try and make my day a little better. Thank you Tipp & Buley Law Firm for being there even when someone cant take you on full time. I will always appreciate your kindness today.

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Tipp Coburn & Associates

Our attorneys have been fighting for Montanans since 1959. Over the years, we have represented more than 7,500 clients and helped them recover millions of dollars in compensation. We are affiliated with renowned legal organizations, including The National Trial Lawyers and the Montana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

To schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys, request a case review online or call us at (406) 549-5186

Message Our Staff

"Torrance represented me in a very complex breach of contract/wrongful termination case ... Extremely knowledgeable and professional. I can't recommend him highly enough."

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Missoula Office

2200 Brooks Street
Missoula, MT 59801

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