Page images
PDF
EPUB

RULES OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

FOR THE DISTRICT COURTS OF THE UNITED STATES

I. SCOPE, PURPOSE, AND CONSTRUCTION

Rule 1. Scope. These rules govern the procedure in the courts of the United States and before United States commissioners in all criminal proceedings, with the exceptions stated in Rule 54.

Rule 2. Purpose and Construction. These rules are intended to provide for the just determination of every criminal proceeding. They shall be construed to secure simplicity in procedure, fairness in administration and the elimination of unjustifiable expense and delay.

1

II. PRELIMINARY PROCEEDINGS Rule 3. The Complaint. The complaint is a written statement of the essential facts constituting the offense charged. It shall be made upon oath before a commissioner or other officer empowered to commit persons charged with offenses against the United States.

Rule 4. Warrant or Summons upon Complaint.

(a) ISSUANCE. If it appears from the complaint that there is probable cause to believe that an offense has been committed and that the defendant has committed it, a warrant for the arrest of the defendant shall issue to any officer authorized by law to execute it. Upon the request of the attorney for the government a summons instead of a warrant shall issue. More than one warrant or summons may issue on the same complaint. If a defendant fails to appear in response to the summons, a warrant shall issue. (b) FORM.

(1) Warrant. The warrant shall be signed by the commissioner and shall contain the name of the defendant or, if his name is unknown, any name or description by which he can be identified with reasonable certainty. It shall describe the offense charged in the complaint. It shall command that the defendant be arrested and brought before the nearest available commissioner.

(2) Summons. The summons shall be in the same form as the warrant except that it

2

shall summon the defendant to appear before

a commissioner at a stated time and place. (c) EXECUTION OR SERVICE; AND RETURN.

(1) By Whom. The warrant shall be executed by a marshal or by some other officer authorized by law. The summons may be served by any person authorized to serve a summons in a civil action.

(2) Territorial Limits. The warrant may be executed or the summons may be served at any place within the jurisdiction of the United States.

(3) Manner. The warrant shall be exe.cuted by the arrest of the defendant. The officer need not have the warrant in his possession at the time of the arrest, but upon request he shall show the warrant to the defendant as soon as possible. If the officer does not have the warrant in his possession at the time of the arrest, he shall then inform the defendant of the offense charged and of the fact that a warrant has been issued. The summons shall be served upon a defendant by delivering a copy to him personally, or by leaving it at his dwelling house or usual place of abode with some person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein or by mailing it to the defendant's last known address.

(4) Return. The officer executing a warrant shall make return thereof to the commissioner or other officer before whom the defendant is brought pursuant to Rule 5. At the request of the attorney for the government any unexecuted warrant shall be re

turned to the commissioner by whom it was issued and shall be cancelled by him. On or before the return day the person to whom a summons was delivered for service shall make return thereof to the commissioner before whom the summons is returnable. At the request of the attorney for the government made at any time while the complaint is pending, a warrant returned unexecuted and not cancelled or a summons returned unserved or a duplicate thereof may be delivered by the commissioner to the marshal or other authorized person for execution or service.

Rule 5. Proceedings before the Commissioner.

(a) APPEARANCE BEFORE THE COMMISSIONER. An officer making an arrest under a warrant issued upon a complaint or any person making an arrest without a warrant shall take the arrested person without unnecessary delay before the nearest available commissioner or before any other nearby officer empowered to commit persons charged with offenses against the laws of the United States. When a person arrested without a warrant is brought before a commissioner or other officer, a complaint shall be filed forthwith.

(b) STATEMENT BY THE COMMISSIONER. The commissioner shall inform the defendant of the complaint against him, of his right to retain counsel and of his right to have a preliminary examination. He shall also inform the defendant that he is not required to make a statement and that any statement made by him may be used against him. The commissioner shall allow the defend

ant reasonable time and opportunity to consult counsel and shall admit the defendant to bail as provided in these rules.

(c) PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION. The defendant shall not be called upon to plead. If the defendant waives preliminary examination, the commissioner shall forthwith hold him to answer in the district court. If the defendant does not waive examination, the commissioner shall hear the evidence within a reasonable time. The defendant may cross-examine witnesses against him and may introduce evidence in his own behalf. If from the evidence it appears to the commissioner that there is probable cause to believe that an offense has been committed and that the defendant has committed it, the commissioner shall forthwith hold him to answer in the district court; otherwise the commissioner shall discharge him. The commissioner shall admit the defendant to bail as provided in these rules. After concluding the proceeding the commissioner shall transmit forthwith to the clerk of the district court all papers in the proceeding and any bail taken by him.

« PreviousContinue »