2013 Code of Alabama
Section 15-1-3 - Foreign language interpreters.

AL Code § 15-1-3 (2013) What's This?
Section 15-1-3Foreign language interpreters.

(a)(1) If at any stage of a criminal or juvenile proceeding the defendant, juvenile, or a witness informs the court that he or she does not speak or understand the English language, the court may appoint an interpreter.

(2) The defendant, juvenile, or witness shall inform the appropriate court of his or her need for an interpreter immediately upon receiving notice to appear in the court.

(3) If the court determines that due process considerations require an interpreter, the court shall appoint a qualified person to interpret the proceedings for the defendant, juvenile, or witness requesting assistance. The interpreter shall also interpret the testimony or statements of the defendant, juvenile, or witness, and, where applicable, assist in communications with counsel.

(4) If the court has reason to believe that the defendant, juvenile, or witness requesting an interpreter is capable of speaking and understanding the English language, the court may require that the requestor provide reasonable proof to the court of his or her inability to speak or understand the English language.

(b) Upon appointment, an interpreter shall swear under oath that he or she will render a true and clear interpretation to the best of his or her skill and judgment.

(c) The relations and communications between an appointed interpreter and the requestor are placed on the same basis as those provided by law between attorney and client. Any information obtained by an interpreter from the requestor pertaining to any proceeding then pending shall at all times remain confidential and privileged, unless the requestor expresses a desire that the information be communicated to another person.

(d) An interpreter appointed pursuant to this section shall be entitled to a fee in an amount calculated according to a fee schedule established by the Administrative Director of Courts with the advice and consent of the state Comptroller for his or her services. The fee shall be in addition to actual expenses for travel and transportation. If the interpreter is appointed by a district, circuit, or appellate court the interpreter shall submit his or her expenses to the judge making the appointment for approval. After approval, the clerk of the court shall forward the expenses of the interpreter to the state Comptroller to be paid from the fund within the State General Fund known as "court assessed costs not provided for." If the interpreter is appointed by another authority, the fee shall be paid out of funds available to that appointing authority. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the court from taxing the costs of the interpreter against one or more of the parties for immediate payment or from requiring reimbursement to the state at a later date.

(Act 2000-277, p. 441, §1.)

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