Except as otherwise provided by this section, a preliminary examination shall be held within the time set by the judge or magistrate judge pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, to determine whether there is probable cause to believe that an offense has been committed and that the arrested person has committed it.
(b) The date for the preliminary examination shall be fixed by the judge or magistrate judge at the initial appearance of the arrested person. Except as provided by subsection (c) of this section, or unless the arrested person waives the preliminary examination, such examination shall be held within a reasonable time following initial appearance, but in any event not later than—
the fourteenth day following the date of the initial appearance of the arrested person before such officer if the arrested person is held in custody without any provision for release, or is held in custody for failure to meet the conditions of release imposed, or is released from custody only during specified hours of the day; or
the twentieth day following the date of the initial appearance if the arrested person is released from custody under any condition other than a condition described in paragraph (1) of this subsection.
With the consent of the arrested person, the date fixed by the judge or magistrate judge for the preliminary examination may be a date later than that prescribed by subsection (b), or may be continued one or more times to a date subsequent to the date initially fixed therefor. In the absence of such consent of the accused, the judge or magistrate judge may extend the time limits only on a showing that extraordinary circumstances exist and justice requires the delay.
Except as provided by subsection (e) of this section, an arrested person who has not been accorded the preliminary examination required by subsection (a) within the period of time fixed by the judge or magistrate judge in compliance with subsections (b) and (c), shall be discharged from custody or from the requirement of bail or any other condition of release, without prejudice, however, to the institution of further criminal proceedings against him upon the charge upon which he was arrested.
No preliminary examination in compliance with subsection (a) of this section shall be required to be accorded an arrested person, nor shall such arrested person be discharged from custody or from the requirement of bail or any other condition of release pursuant to subsection (d), if at any time subsequent to the initial appearance of such person before a judge or magistrate judge and prior to the date fixed for the preliminary examination pursuant to subsections (b) and (c) an indictment is returned or, in appropriate cases, an information is filed against such person in a court of the United States.
Proceedings before United States magistrate judges under this section shall be taken down by a court reporter or recorded by suitable sound recording equipment. A copy of the record of such proceeding shall be made available at the expense of the United States to a person who makes affidavit that he is unable to pay or give security therefor, and the expense of such copy shall be paid by the Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.
(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 819
; Pub. L. 90–578, title III
, § 303(a), Oct. 17, 1968
, 82 Stat. 1117
; Pub. L. 101–650, title III
, § 321, Dec. 1, 1990
, 104 Stat. 5117
; Pub. L. 109–162, title XI
, § 1179, Jan. 5, 2006
, 119 Stat. 3126
; Pub. L. 111–16
, § 3(9), May 7, 2009
, 123 Stat. 1608
2009—Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 111–16 substituted “fourteenth day” for “tenth day”.
2006—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 109–162 substituted “In the absence of such consent of the accused, the judge or magistrate judge may extend the time limits only on a showing that extraordinary circumstances exist and justice requires the delay.” for “In the absence of such consent of the accused, the date fixed for the preliminary hearing may be a date later than that prescribed by subsection (b), or may be continued to a date subsequent to the date initially fixed therefor, only upon the order of a judge of the appropriate United States district court after a finding that extraordinary circumstances exist, and that the delay of the preliminary hearing is indispensable to the interests of justice.”
1968—Pub. L. 90–578 substituted provisions of subsecs. (a) to (f) of this section detailing preliminary examination content for prior provisions which directed attention to the rule in section catchline, and directed one to see Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, including “Proceedings before commissioner, appearance, advice as to right to counsel, hearing, Rule 5.”.
Change of Name
Words “magistrate judge” and “United States magistrate judges” substituted for “magistrate” and “United States magistrates”, respectively, wherever appearing in text pursuant to section 321 of Pub. L. 101–650, set out as a note under section 631 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.
Effective Date of 1968 Amendment
Amendment by Pub. L. 90–578 effective Oct. 17, 1968, except when a later effective date is applicable, which is the earlier of date when implementation of amendment by appointment of magistrates [now United States magistrate judges] and assumption of office takes place or third anniversary of enactment of Pub. L. 90–578 on Oct. 17, 1968, see section 403 of Pub. L. 90–578, set out as a note under section 631 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.
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