(People v C, NY Slip Op 06849)
The right to self-representation is an important part of being an American (People v. McIntyre 36 NY2d 10, 14 . This is a right that is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and New York State law (Fraretta v CA 422 US 806 , NY Constitution Art. 1). This right, however, isn’t absolute and must be made in a timely manner (Mc Intyre 36 NY2d; Martinez v Ct of Appeal 4th Appellate District, 528 US 152, 161-162 .
In this case, the defendant tried to invoke his right to proceed pro se. There is a three-prong approach to determine when this right can be invoked. It must be made in a timely manner, there must have been an intelligent waiver of counsel, and the defendant must not have engaged in conduct which would prevent an orderly disposition of the issues. This appeal deals with the first prong of this test.