(1) The department shall pay reasonable attorney fees and costs for outside legal counsel to defend a firefighter employed by the department against a criminal prosecution for a good faith act or omission by the firefighter arising from the firefighter's performance of duties during a wildfire. The department may determine whether the firefighter's act or omission was in good faith and arising from the performance of the firefighter's duties during a wildfire. The requirement to pay attorney fees and costs does not apply to any post-conviction legal proceedings.
(a) In determining whether a firefighter's act or omission was in good faith and arose from the firefighter's performance of duties during a wildfire, the department will consider, in addition to the factors contained in ARM 36.10.133(2) and (3), any other factors that the department determines are, on a case-by-case basis, relevant to that determination.
(2) In determining whether attorneys fees and costs are reasonable, the department will compare those charged with those that have been, or are normally charged under the circumstances in the county in which the criminal defense takes place, or if the department considers it necessary, those that are charged within the state or in states surrounding Montana.
(a) The department will take into account the complexity of a criminal defense in determining whether attorneys fees and costs are reasonable.
(b) The department will not pay attorneys fees and/or costs that exceed those that are reasonable.