Saturday, December 6, 2014

Amendments to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure

Last week, new amendments to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure went into effect. You should be aware of the changes, as well as the fact that the printed versions that we (might) have on our desks are not entirely correct anymore.
Amendments were made to 5 rules. Go here for the text of the new rules.

Rule 5 (initial appearance) and Rule 58 (petty offenses and misdemeanors): were amended to require judges at pretrial proceedings to advise noncitizens of their right to consular notification arising under Article 6 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

Rule 6 (the grand jury):
this is a technical amendment correcting a statutory reference in subsection (e)(3)(D).

Rule 12 (pretrial motions):
quite a few changes to this rule.
  • subsection (b)(1) now provides that any "defense, objection, or request" may be made prior to trial (assuming it can be raised prior to trial);
  • subsection (b)(2) now addresses motions that may be made at any time, and includes only those motions that challenge a court's jurisdiction;
  • subsection (b)(3) now addresses motions that must be made prior to trial, and enumerates 13 types:
    • improper venue;
    • preindictment delay
    • speedy trial violation;
    • selective or vindictive prosecution;
    • grand jury or preliminary hearing challenges;
    • duplicitous indictment;
    • multiplicitous indictment;
    • lack of specificity in indictment;
    • improper joinder;
    • failure to state an offense in the indictment
    • suppression;
    • severance; and
    • discovery.
  • subsection (c)(1) now provides that any motion must be filed prior to the start of trial (unless the court sets an earlier deadline);
  • subsection (c)(2) now provides that a court may extend or reset a pretrial motion deadline at any time prior to trial;
  • subsection (c)(3) now provides that a court may consider an untimely motion for good cause;
Rule 34 (arresting judgment):
was amended to provide that a court may arrest judgment only if it does not have jurisdiction of the charged offense. 

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