A trial judge may order a defendant or witness subjected to physical restraint in the courtroom when the judge finds the restraint to be reasonably necessary to maintain order, prevent the defendant's escape, or provide for the safety of persons. If the judge orders a defendant or witness restrained, he must:
(1) Enter in the record out of the presence of the jury and in the presence of the person to be restrained and his counsel, if any, the reasons for his action; and
(2) Give the restrained person an opportunity to object; and
(3) Unless the defendant or his attorney objects, instruct the jurors that the restraint is not to be considered in weighing evidence or determining the issue of guilt.
If the restrained person controverts the stated reasons for restraint, the judge must conduct a hearing and make findings of fact. (1977, c. 711, s. 1.)
Last modified: March 23, 2014