Prejudicial Error Committed by Denying Right to be Present?

There is a general rule that in felony cases, the accused must be present at all “critical phases” of the case. The following case involves a civil commitment proceeding for a person alleged to be too dangerous to others to release on parole. In the pretrial proceedings, Patton State Hospital failed to transport the defendant to court as ordered and the judge ruled in his absence that defendant waived his right to a jury trial. On appeal of this ruling, which defendant claimed was a violation of his right to be present for such a determination. The Second Appellate District agreed with defendant. To read more about this ruling, please click on the following link –

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