Interpreters

 


 













Interpreters

Interpreters are provided for trial court proceedings in criminal cases and juvenile delinquency proceedings under Welfare & Institutions Code Section 602 et seq. pursuant to California Rule of Court 2.893.

The California Constitution mandates that a person unable to understand English who is charged with a crime has a right to an interpreter throughout the proceedings. Courts must provide specially trained language interpreters for witnesses, victims, and defendants who understand little or no English. This mandate has been broadened to include juvenile delinquency, certain civil and family law matters involving a protective order, and child custody and visitation proceedings. Persons who are deaf or hard of hearing are entitled to an interpreter for all court proceedings, whether criminal or civil. Because of the high number of Spanish speaking defendants in traffic court, the Court usually provides an interpreter for traffic hearings as well. The cost of mandatory court interpreters is borne by the Court.

Often, the need for a court interpreter is not known until the first court hearing. Following an examination of a defendant, party or witness, the Court may determine that the individual does not understand English or does not speak English well enough to be understood by the Court, counsel and the jury. The Interpreter Coordinator then makes arrangements to have an interpreter present in Court for the next hearing date.

If you need to speak with someone before you come to court, to call 265-1311