Do you need to hire an interpreter for court?

Do you need to hire an interpreter for court?

If English isn’t your first language, and you can’t understand or speak English, you may be considered to be a person with limited proficiency in English or as an ESL or “English as a Second Language” speaker. If you’ve been charged with a crime or are the plaintiff in a civil lawsuit, do you need to hire an interpreter for court?

A court interpreter will interpret out loud between English and your first language as well as translate court papers. This can help to avoid any misunderstandings or miscommunications that could have a negative effect on the outcome of your case.

The aim of the California Interpreters Program or CIP is to provide qualified interpreters in the courts for persons with limited English proficiency, who are deaf, or are hard-of-hearing. According to a 2015 study done by the Judicial Council of California, Spanish accounted for 72% of all interpretation in the state courts during the study period with the highest volume of Spanish language interpretation being provided in Los Angeles.

Litigate in your first language

These statistics should come as no surprise since, according to 2010 census data, Hispanics make up almost 50% of the population in Los Angeles. While 36% of Spanish speaking people are bilingual, and therefore, do not need an interpreter in court, about 38% still use Spanish as their first language.

The Los Angeles Superior Court has mandated that qualified court interpreters for Spanish speakers will be provided at no cost to the user in the following cases:

  • Criminal
  • Juvenile delinquency
  • Probate
  • Mental health
  • Family law ( eg. divorce, child custody)
  • Harassment
  • Eviction
  • Traffic
  • Small claims
  • Personal injury civil cases

The problem with using only court interpreters is that they don’t have the legal knowledge and expertise needed when it comes to litigating cases. An attorney that is bilingual will not only be able to defend your interests in court or at the negotiating table, but will also be able to discuss all facets of the case directly with you in your native language.

Hiring a Spanish speaking attorney will not only help to avoid any miscommunication or misunderstandings that can occur when advising you about personal injury laws as they apply to your case, your legal options, and court proceedings, but it also helps to build a more trusting relationship between you and your attorney.

What about your attorney?

If you’ve been injured in a accident or due to the intentional conduct of another party and you’re a person with limited proficiency in English, Greg Yates, Spanish speaking personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles, offers legal services in both English and Spanish. Greg Yates has more than 30 years litigating cases in the field of personal injury, and will work hard to make sure that you receive just and fair compensations for both economic as well as non-economic damages.

Need to hire an attorney who speaks Spanish? Call our office to schedule your free consultation.