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Criminal Matters

The Court does not generally refer pretrial matters to a Magistrate Judge, except for the initial Pretrial Conference. If the Judge is assigned to the case and is unavailable when a defendant under indictment is arrested on the Court's bench warrant the defendant should be brought to the Duty Magistrate Judge. The Court may allow an Alford plea or accept a nolo contendere plea. The Court always requires a presentence investigation report prior to sentencing; this is also required for corporate defendants. The Court usually attends a sentencing council prior to sentencing. The Court meets with the probation officer prior to sentencing. The Court enforces a firm plea cutoff date. Counsel may be allowed to submit jury questionnaires in advance of jury selection in high profile and/or complex cases. The Court conducts the voir dire, but usually allows counsel to ask follow-up questions.

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