Under the United States Constitution and in the State of New York, once adversarial criminal proceedings begin, the right to counsel applies to all critical stages of the prosecution and investigation. Through many years of case law, the U.S. Supreme Court defined a critical stage as “any stage of the prosecution, formal or informal, in court or out, where counsel’s absence might derogate from the accused’s right to a fair trial.”
Here, a felony hearing is clearly a critical stage of the prosecution. As a result, your friend must have an attorney present. If he or she cannot afford an attorney a Criminal Defense Attorney in Buffalo Ny will be appointed through the Public Defenders Unit.