18 U.S. Code § 3161 - Time limits and exclusions

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(a) In any case involving a defendant charged with an offense, the appropriate judicial officer, at the earliest practicable time, shall, after consultation with the counsel for the defendant and the attorney for the Government, set the case for trial on a day certain, or list it for trial on a weekly or other short-term trial calendar at a place within the judicial district, so as to assure a speedy trial.
(b) Any information or indictment charging an individual with the commission of an offense shall be filed within thirty days from the date on which such individual was arrested or served with a summons in connection with such charges. If an individual has been charged with a felony in a district in which no grand jury has been in session during such thirty-day period, the period of time for filing of the indictment shall be extended an additional thirty days.
(c)
(1) In any case in which a plea of not guilty is entered, the trial of a defendant charged in an information or indictment with the commission of an offense shall commence within seventy days from the filing date (and making public) of the information or indictment, or from the date the defendant has appeared before a judicial officer of the court in which such charge is pending, whichever date last occurs. If a defendant consents in writing to be tried before a magistrate judge on a complaint, the trial shall commence within seventy days from the date of such consent.
(2) Unless the defendant consents in writing to the contrary, the trial shall not commence less than thirty days from the date on which the defendant first appears through counsel or expressly waives counsel and elects to proceed pro se.
(d)
(1) If any indictment or information is dismissed upon motion of the defendant, or any charge contained in a complaint filed against an individual is dismissed or otherwise dropped, and thereafter a complaint is filed against such defendant or individual charging him with the same offense or an offense based on the same conduct or arising from the same criminal episode, or an information or indictment is filed charging such defendant with the same offense or an offense based on the same conduct or arising from the same criminal episode, the provisions of subsections (b) and (c) of this section shall be applicable with respect to such subsequent complaint, indictment, or information, as the case may be.
(2) If the defendant is to be tried upon an indictment or information dismissed by a trial court and reinstated following an appeal, the trial shall commence within seventy days from the date the action occasioning the trial becomes final, except that the court retrying the case may extend the period for trial not to exceed one hundred and eighty days from the date the action occasioning the trial becomes final if the unavailability of witnesses or other factors resulting from the passage of time shall make trial within seventy days impractical. The periods of delay enumerated in section 3161 (h) are excluded in computing the time limitations specified in this section. The sanctions of section 3162 apply to this subsection.
(e) If the defendant is to be tried again following a declaration by the trial judge of a mistrial or following an order of such judge for a new trial, the trial shall commence within seventy days from the date the action occasioning the retrial becomes final. If the defendant is to be tried again following an appeal or a collateral attack, the trial shall commence within seventy days from the date the action occasioning the retrial becomes final, except that the court retrying the case may extend the period for retrial not to exceed one hundred and eighty days from the date the action occasioning the retrial becomes final if unavailability of witnesses or other factors resulting from passage of time shall make trial within seventy days impractical. The periods of delay enumerated in section 3161 (h) are excluded in computing the time limitations specified in this section. The sanctions of section 3162 apply to this subsection.
(f) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, for the first twelve-calendar-month period following the effective date of this section as set forth in section 3163 (a) of this chapter the time limit imposed with respect to the period between arrest and indictment by subsection (b) of this section shall be sixty days, for the second such twelve-month period such time limit shall be forty-five days and for the third such period such time limit shall be thirty-five days.
(g) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (c) of this section, for the first twelve-calendar-month period following the effective date of this section as set forth in section 3163 (b) of this chapter, the time limit with respect to the period between arraignment and trial imposed by subsection (c) of this section shall be one hundred and eighty days, for the second such twelve-month period such time limit shall be one hundred and twenty days, and for the third such period such time limit with respect to the period between arraignment and trial shall be eighty days.
(h) The following periods of delay shall be excluded in computing the time within which an information or an indictment must be filed, or in computing the time within which the trial of any such offense must commence:
(1) Any period of delay resulting from other proceedings concerning the defendant, including but not limited to—
(A) delay resulting from any proceeding, including any examinations, to determine the mental competency or physical capacity of the defendant;
(B) delay resulting from trial with respect to other charges against the defendant;
(C) delay resulting from any interlocutory appeal;
(D) delay resulting from any pretrial motion, from the filing of the motion through the conclusion of the hearing on, or other prompt disposition of, such motion;
(E) delay resulting from any proceeding relating to the transfer of a case or the removal of any defendant from another district under the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure;
(F) delay resulting from transportation of any defendant from another district, or to and from places of examination or hospitalization, except that any time consumed in excess of ten days from the date an order of removal or an order directing such transportation, and the defendant’s arrival at the destination shall be presumed to be unreasonable;
(G) delay resulting from consideration by the court of a proposed plea agreement to be entered into by the defendant and the attorney for the Government; and
(H) delay reasonably attributable to any period, not to exceed thirty days, during which any proceeding concerning the defendant is actually under advisement by the court.
(2) Any period of delay during which prosecution is deferred by the attorney for the Government pursuant to written agreement with the defendant, with the approval of the court, for the purpose of allowing the defendant to demonstrate his good conduct.
(3)
(A) Any period of delay resulting from the absence or unavailability of the defendant or an essential witness.
(B) For purposes of subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, a defendant or an essential witness shall be considered absent when his whereabouts are unknown and, in addition, he is attempting to avoid apprehension or prosecution or his whereabouts cannot be determined by due diligence. For purposes of such subparagraph, a defendant or an essential witness shall be considered unavailable whenever his whereabouts are known but his presence for trial cannot be obtained by due diligence or he resists appearing at or being returned for trial.
(4) Any period of delay resulting from the fact that the defendant is mentally incompetent or physically unable to stand trial.
(5) If the information or indictment is dismissed upon motion of the attorney for the Government and thereafter a charge is filed against the defendant for the same offense, or any offense required to be joined with that offense, any period of delay from the date the charge was dismissed to the date the time limitation would commence to run as to the subsequent charge had there been no previous charge.
(6) A reasonable period of delay when the defendant is joined for trial with a codefendant as to whom the time for trial has not run and no motion for severance has been granted.
(7)
(A) Any period of delay resulting from a continuance granted by any judge on his own motion or at the request of the defendant or his counsel or at the request of the attorney for the Government, if the judge granted such continuance on the basis of his findings that the ends of justice served by taking such action outweigh the best interest of the public and the defendant in a speedy trial. No such period of delay resulting from a continuance granted by the court in accordance with this paragraph shall be excludable under this subsection unless the court sets forth, in the record of the case, either orally or in writing, its reasons for finding that the ends of justice served by the granting of such continuance outweigh the best interests of the public and the defendant in a speedy trial.
(B) The factors, among others, which a judge shall consider in determining whether to grant a continuance under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph in any case are as follows:
(i) Whether the failure to grant such a continuance in the proceeding would be likely to make a continuation of such proceeding impossible, or result in a miscarriage of justice.
(ii) Whether the case is so unusual or so complex, due to the number of defendants, the nature of the prosecution, or the existence of novel questions of fact or law, that it is unreasonable to expect adequate preparation for pretrial proceedings or for the trial itself within the time limits established by this section.
(iii) Whether, in a case in which arrest precedes indictment, delay in the filing of the indictment is caused because the arrest occurs at a time such that it is unreasonable to expect return and filing of the indictment within the period specified in section 3161 (b), or because the facts upon which the grand jury must base its determination are unusual or complex.
(iv) Whether the failure to grant such a continuance in a case which, taken as a whole, is not so unusual or so complex as to fall within clause (ii), would deny the defendant reasonable time to obtain counsel, would unreasonably deny the defendant or the Government continuity of counsel, or would deny counsel for the defendant or the attorney for the Government the reasonable time necessary for effective preparation, taking into account the exercise of due diligence.
(C) No continuance under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph shall be granted because of general congestion of the court’s calendar, or lack of diligent preparation or failure to obtain available witnesses on the part of the attorney for the Government.
(8) Any period of delay, not to exceed one year, ordered by a district court upon an application of a party and a finding by a preponderance of the evidence that an official request, as defined in section 3292 of this title, has been made for evidence of any such offense and that it reasonably appears, or reasonably appeared at the time the request was made, that such evidence is, or was, in such foreign country.
(i) If trial did not commence within the time limitation specified in section 3161 because the defendant had entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere subsequently withdrawn to any or all charges in an indictment or information, the defendant shall be deemed indicted with respect to all charges therein contained within the meaning of section 3161, on the day the order permitting withdrawal of the plea becomes final.
(j)
(1) If the attorney for the Government knows that a person charged with an offense is serving a term of imprisonment in any penal institution, he shall promptly—
(A) undertake to obtain the presence of the prisoner for trial; or
(B) cause a detainer to be filed with the person having custody of the prisoner and request him to so advise the prisoner and to advise the prisoner of his right to demand trial.
(2) If the person having custody of such prisoner receives a detainer, he shall promptly advise the prisoner of the charge and of the prisoner’s right to demand trial. If at any time thereafter the prisoner informs the person having custody that he does demand trial, such person shall cause notice to that effect to be sent promptly to the attorney for the Government who caused the detainer to be filed.
(3) Upon receipt of such notice, the attorney for the Government shall promptly seek to obtain the presence of the prisoner for trial.
(4) When the person having custody of the prisoner receives from the attorney for the Government a properly supported request for temporary custody of such prisoner for trial, the prisoner shall be made available to that attorney for the Government (subject, in cases of interjurisdictional transfer, to any right of the prisoner to contest the legality of his delivery).
(k)
(1) If the defendant is absent (as defined by subsection (h)(3)) on the day set for trial, and the defendant’s subsequent appearance before the court on a bench warrant or other process or surrender to the court occurs more than 21 days after the day set for trial, the defendant shall be deemed to have first appeared before a judicial officer of the court in which the information or indictment is pending within the meaning of subsection (c) on the date of the defendant’s subsequent appearance before the court.
(2) If the defendant is absent (as defined by subsection (h)(3)) on the day set for trial, and the defendant’s subsequent appearance before the court on a bench warrant or other process or surrender to the court occurs not more than 21 days after the day set for trial, the time limit required by subsection (c), as extended by subsection (h), shall be further extended by 21 days.

Source

(Added Pub. L. 93–619, title I, § 101,Jan. 3, 1975, 88 Stat. 2076; amended Pub. L. 96–43, §§ 2–5,Aug. 2, 1979, 93 Stat. 327, 328; Pub. L. 98–473, title II, § 1219,Oct. 12, 1984, 98 Stat. 2167; Pub. L. 100–690, title VI, § 6476,Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4380; Pub. L. 101–650, title III, § 321,Dec. 1, 1990, 104 Stat. 5117; Pub. L. 110–406, § 13,Oct. 13, 2008, 122 Stat. 4294.)
Amendments

2008—Subsec. (h)(1)(B) to (J). Pub. L. 110–406, § 13(1), redesignated subpars. (D) to (J) as (B) to (H), respectively, and struck out former subpars. (B) and (C) which read as follows:
“(B) delay resulting from any proceeding, including any examination of the defendant, pursuant to section 2902 of title 28, United States Code;
“(C) delay resulting from deferral of prosecution pursuant to section 2902 of title 28, United States Code;”.
Subsec. (h)(5) to (9). Pub. L. 110–406, § 13(2), (3), redesignated pars. (6) to (9) as (5) to (8), respectively, and struck out former par. (5) which read as follows: “Any period of delay resulting from the treatment of the defendant pursuant to section 2902 of title 28, United States Code.”
1988—Subsec. (k). Pub. L. 100–690added subsec. (k).
1984—Subsec. (h)(8)(C). Pub. L. 98–473, § 1219(1), substituted “subparagraph (A) of this paragraph” for “paragraph (8)(A) of this subsection”.
Subsec. (h)(9). Pub. L. 98–473, § 1219(2), added par. (9).
1979—Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 96–43, § 2, merged the ten day indictment-to-arraignment and the sixty day arraignment-to-trial limits into a single seventy day indictment-to-trial period.
Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 96–43, § 2, added par. (2).
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 96–43, § 3(a), designated existing provisions as par. (1) and added par. (2).
Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 96–43, § 3(b), substituted “seventy days” for “sixty days” in three places and inserted provisions excluding the periods of delay enumerated in subsec. (h) of this section in computing the time limitations specified in this section and applying the sanctions of section 3162 of this title to this subsection.
Subsec. (h)(1). Pub. L. 96–43, § 4, added to the listing of excludable delays, delays resulting from the deferral of prosecution under section 2902 of title 28, delays caused by consideration by the court of proposed plea agreements, and delays resulting from the transportation of a defendant from another district or for the purpose of examination or hospitalization, and expanded provisions relating to exclusions of periods of delay resulting from hearings on pretrial motions, examinations and hearings relating to the mental or physical condition of defendant, or the removal of a defendant from another district under the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.
Subsec. (h)(8)(B)(ii). Pub. L. 96–43, § 5(a), expanded provisions authorizing the granting of continuances based on the complexity or unusual nature of a case to include delays in preparation of all phases of a case, including pretrial motion preparation.
Subsec. (h)(8)(B)(iii). Pub. L. 96–43, § 5(b), inserted provision authorizing a continuance where the delay in filing the indictment is caused by the arrest taking place at such time that the return and filing of the indictment can not reasonably be expected within the period specified in section 3161 (b) of this title.
Subsec. (h)(8)(B)(iv). Pub. L. 96–43, § 5(c), added cl. (iv).
Change of Name

Words “magistrate judge” substituted for “magistrate” in subsec. (c)(1) pursuant to section 321 ofPub. L. 101–650, set out as a note under section 631 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.
Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 98–473effective 30 days after Oct. 12, 1984, see section 1220 ofPub. L. 98–473, set out as an Effective Date note under section 3505 of this title.
Short Title of 1979 Amendment

Pub. L. 96–43, § 1,Aug. 2, 1979, 93 Stat. 327, provided: “That this Act [amending this section and sections 3163 to 3168, 3170 and 3174 of this title] may be cited as the ‘Speedy Trial Act Amendments Act of 1979’.”
Short Title

Pub. L. 93–619, § 1,Jan. 3, 1975, 88 Stat. 2076, provided: “That this Act [enacting this chapter and sections 3153 to 3156 of this title, and amending section 3152 of this title, and section 604 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure] may be cited as the ‘Speedy Trial Act of 1974’.”

 

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