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CRITICAL STATE OF TRIAL--DEFENDANT'S PRESENCE REQUIRED - MN Bench Book - Trial Procedures & Practices for Judges
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CRITICAL STATE OF TRIAL--DEFENDANT'S PRESENCE REQUIRED

From MN Bench Book - Trial Procedures & Practices for Judges

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A defendant has a constitutional right to be present at every critical stage of criminal proceedings.[1] “Due process requires [a] defendant to be present in his own person whenever his presence has a relation, reasonably substantial, to the [fullness] of his opportunity to defend against the charge.”[2] In addition, a criminal defendant has a right to be present “at the arraignment, at the time of the plea, at every stage of the trial including the impaneling of the jury and the return of the verdict, and at the imposition of sentence, except as otherwise provided by these rules.” Minn. R. Crim. P. 26.03, subd. 1(1). The right conferred by this rule is considered to be broader than the right conferred by the federal constitution.[3] This right can be limited and it is not a violation of defendant’s due process right when he was restricted from bench conferences because security concerns.[4]



References:

  1. State v. Grey, 256 N.W.2d 74, 76 (Minn. 1977).
  2. Id. (quoting Snyder v. Massachusetts, 291 U.S. 97, 105, 54 S. Ct. 330).
  3. Ford v. State, 690 N.W.2d 706, 712 (Minn. 2005).
  4. State v. Richards, 495 N.W.2d 187 (Minn. 1992)