Federal prosecutors have filed a proposed order to show cause against Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
The document outlines what an actual show-order against the Maricopa County sheriff could look like from the judge.
The Department of Justice is investigating whether Arpaio should face criminal contempt charges for continuing to racially profile Latinos during traffic stops even after ordered to stop by court order.
Earlier this year U.S District Judge Murray Snow held Arpaio in civil contempt for disobeying those orders and recommended a federal investigation into criminal charges.
In his civil contempt ruling, Snow said Arpaio "engaged in multiple acts of misconduct, dishonesty, and bad faith" regarding those who sued him for illegal traffic stops.
The order to show cause, when it comes, will form the basis of the criminal trial against Arpaio. If found in criminal contempt of court, he could face fines and jail time.