Ky. R. Crim. P. RCr 8.28

As amended through June 29, 2021
Rule RCr 8.28 - Presence of defendant
(1) The defendant shall be present at the arraignment, at every critical stage of the trial including the empaneling of the jury and the return of the verdict, and at the imposition of the sentence. The defendant's voluntary absence after the trial has been commenced in his or her presence shall not prevent proceeding with the trial up to and including the verdict. The defendant may be permitted to remain on bail during the trial. Upon a hearing and finding by the trial court, that a defendant in custody on any charge, including a felony, intentionally refuses to appear for any proceeding, including trial, short of physical force, such refusal shall be deemed a waiver of the defendant's right to appear at that proceeding.
(2) A defendant who persists in engaging in disruptive conduct after being warned by the court that such conduct will cause him or her to be removed may be excluded from the courtroom.
(3) A corporation may appear by counsel for all purposes.
(4) In prosecutions for misdemeanors or violations the court may permit arraignment, plea, trial and imposition of sentence in the defendant's absence. However, no plea of guilty to a violation of KRS 189A or KRS 218A may be entered in the defendant's absence, unless the defendant first executes a written waiver of his or her right to be present.
(5) During his or her appearance in court before a jury the defendant shall not be required to wear the distinctive clothing of a prisoner. Except for good cause shown the judge shall not permit the defendant to be seen by the jury in shackles or other devices for physical restraint.

Ky. R. Crim. P. RCr 8.28

Amended by Order 09-01, eff. 4-1-09; Amended by Order 98-3, eff. 3-1-99; prior amendments eff. 10-1-94 (Order 94-1), 9-1-81 (Order 81-5); adopted eff. 1-1-63