Presence of Defendant Rule Law and Legal Definition

Presence of defendant rule refers to the principle that a felony defendant is entitled to be present at every major stage of the criminal proceeding. [ USCS Fed Rules Crim Proc R 43]

The relevant law as it appears in the statute:

USCS Fed Rules Crim Proc R 43 . Defendant's Presence

(a) When Required. Unless this rule, Rule 5, or Rule 10 provides otherwise, the defendant must be present at:

(1) the initial appearance, the initial arraignment, and the plea;

(2) every trial stage, including jury impanelment and the return of the verdict; and

(3) sentencing.