Special counsel David Weiss had argued that Hunter Biden should be required to make in-person court appearances, opposing Mr. Biden's request.
"Hunter Biden does not contend he is injured or indigent," Mr. Weiss wrote in a response to Mr. Biden's request.
Mr. Biden has been indicted in federal court on felony gun charges, including two counts that he allegedly made false and deceptive statements when he purchased a gun and submitted a statement that he wasn't an unlawful user of drugs, and one count related to his possession of the gun while addicted to drugs.
"An in-person hearing is important to promote the public's confidence that the defendant is being treated consistently with other defendants," Mr. Weiss wrote.
Hours later, the court sided with Mr. Weiss, denying Mr. Biden's request to attend through video conference.
United States Magistrate Judge Christopher Burke wrote that he understood Mr. Biden's arguments that the hearing would likely be short and the travel and logistics a burden, but the event was significant.
"Although initial appearances in criminal matters are often short in duration, our Court has always considered them to be important," he wrote.
"The hearing is one of the few occasions in a criminal case when a defendant physically appears in our Court, before a judge—in a setting that helps to emphasize the 'integrity and solemnity of a federal criminal proceeding.'"