18 USC Sec. 3237 01/05/2009
TITLE 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
PART II - CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
CHAPTER 211 - JURISDICTION AND VENUE
Sec. 3237. Offenses begun in one district and completed in another
(a) Except as otherwise expressly provided by enactment of
Congress, any offense against the United States begun in one
district and completed in another, or committed in more than one
district, may be inquired of and prosecuted in any district in
which such offense was begun, continued, or completed.
Any offense involving the use of the mails, transportation in
interstate or foreign commerce, or the importation of an object or
person into the United States is a continuing offense and, except
as otherwise expressly provided by enactment of Congress, may be
inquired of and prosecuted in any district from, through, or into
which such commerce, mail matter, or imported object or person
(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a), where an offense is described
in section 7203 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or where
venue for prosecution of an offense described in section 7201 or
7206(1), (2), or (5) of such Code (whether or not the offense is
also described in another provision of law) is based solely on a
mailing to the Internal Revenue Service, and prosecution is begun
in a judicial district other than the judicial district in which
the defendant resides, he may upon motion filed in the district in
which the prosecution is begun, elect to be tried in the district
in which he was residing at the time the alleged offense was
committed: Provided, That the motion is filed within twenty days
after arraignment of the defendant upon indictment or information.
(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 826; Pub. L. 85-595, Aug. 6,
1958, 72 Stat. 512; Pub. L. 89-713, Sec. 2, Nov. 2, 1966, 80 Stat.
1108; Pub. L. 98-369, div. A, title I, Sec. 162, July 18, 1984, 98
Stat. 697; Pub. L. 98-473, title II, Sec. 1204(a), Oct. 12, 1984,
98 Stat. 2152; Pub. L. 99-514, Sec. 2, Oct. 22, 1986, 100 Stat.
HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES
Based on section 103 of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Judicial Code
and Judiciary (Mar. 3, 1911, ch. 231, Sec. 42, 36 Stat. 1100).
Section was completely rewritten to clarify legislative intent
and in order to omit special venue provisions from many sections.
The phrase "committed in more than one district" may be
comprehensive enough to include "begun in one district and
completed in another", but the use of both expressions precludes
any doubt as to legislative intent.
Rules 18-22 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure are in
accord with this section.
The last paragraph of the revised section was added to meet the
situation created by the decision of the Supreme Court of the
United States in United States v. Johnson, 1944, 65 S. Ct. 249, 89
L. Ed. 236, which turned on the absence of a special venue
provision in the Dentures Act, section 1821 of this revision. The
revised section removes all doubt as to the venue of continuing
offenses and makes unnecessary special venue provisions except in
cases where Congress desires to restrict the prosecution of
offenses to particular districts as in section 1073 of this
REFERENCES IN TEXT
Section 7203 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, referred to in
subsec. (b), is classified to section 7203 of Title 26, Internal
Section 7201 or 7206(1), (2), or (5) of such Code, referred to in
subsec. (b), are classified respectively to sections 7201 and
7206(1), (2), (5) of Title 26.
1986 - Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 99-514 substituted "Internal Revenue
Code of 1986" for "Internal Revenue Code of 1954".
1984 - Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 98-473 inserted "or the importation
of an object or person into the United States" and ", or imported
object or person" in second par.
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 98-369 substituted "venue for prosecution of
an offense" for "an offense involves use of the mails and is an
offense" and inserted "is based solely on a mailing to the Internal
1966 - Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 89-713 inserted reference to offenses
described in section 7203 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.
1958 - Pub. L. 85-595 designated existing provisions as subsec.
(a) and added subsec. (b).
EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1966 AMENDMENT
Amendment by Pub. L. 89-713 effective Nov. 2, 1966, see section 6
of Pub. L. 89-713, set out as a note under section 6091 of Title
26, Internal Revenue Code.