DEFENSE INTERPRETERS ARE REASONABLY NECESSARY FOR THE DEFENSE

United States Supreme Court has held that a criminal defendant must possess “sufficient present ability to consult with his lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding.” (Dusky v. United States (1960) 362 U.S. 402)

Article I, section 14 of the California Constitution grants to non-English-speaking criminal defendants the distinct right to an interpreter “throughout the proceedings.” It provides in pertinent part: “A person unable to understand English who is charged with a crime has a right to an interpreter throughout the proceedings.” (Cal. Const., art. I, § 14.)

“Generally, we agree with recent cases upholding the right to a personal defense interpreter throughout all phases of the criminal proceedings, without interruption, unless expressly waived on the record by the defendant after advice of the right.” (People v. Carreon (1984) 151 Cal. App. 3rd 559)

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