The Public Defender will make arrangements to obtain the assistance of an interpreter. There is no charge to the client or witnesses for interpreter assistance. However, be sure to inform the receptionist or your attorney that you need an interpreter. Often people may think they can understand enough English to "get by." Unfortunately, sometimes in court there might be special meanings of words which can make a critical difference in the handling of a case. Further, court proceedings can be confusing enough without adding the complication of unfamiliarity with the English language. If there is any doubt as to whether you can understand everything that is being said to you and about you, it is far safer to use the services of an interpreter.
An interpreter will be made available not only for interviews and consultations, but also for court proceedings, and during investigations. A few of our attorneys, clerical staff, and investigators are fluent in Spanish. If you need an interpreter for a language other than Spanish, it is important that you inform your attorney as much in advance as possible. Occasionally it is helpful to use a family member who speaks some English to help make clear exactly which language and dialect is spoken by the person who needs assistance. Afterwards a court interpreter - one who is familiar with court terminology - will be obtained for whichever language or dialect is needed for you to be able to clearly communicate and understand everything that is going on in your case.