Criminal Defense of Immigrants


§ 4.13 IV. Counsel's Role

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Counsel has a number of essential duties to ensure the defendant can completely understand the critical proceedings and information that are provided in the English language that the defendant otherwise cannot understand or can understand only imperfectly.[32]  Counsel must:


                (1)  Assess the client’s need for an interpreter.

                (2)  Ascertain the exact qualities and skills the interpreter must have.

                (3)  Find an interpreter possessing the necessary qualifies and skills.

(4)       Prepare the interpreter to perform the job.

(5)       Alert the court, well in advance, of the need to have a court-provided interpreter at each court appearance.

(6)       Supervise the interpreter and ensure the interpreter has what s/he needs to do the job.

(7)       Make a record of any errors or problems, request that they be cured, and request appropriate relief from the court.


[32] Zazueta, Attorney’s Guide to the Use of Court Intepreters with an English and Spanish Glossary of Criminal Terms. 8 U.C.D. L. Rev. 471 (1975).