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Bouldin Law Firm
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What if I Speak Chinese and Arrested in Kentucky?

If you speak Chinese, you may need an interpreter when you appear in court. If you ask, the court is mandated to provide an interpreter for you during your hearings.  This is regardless of your nationality and language preference and includes Chinese, Mandarin, Polish, Spanish and Russian (I've represented defendants with all of the above). What the court is not obligated to do is provide an interpreter for you when you are speaking to your attorney.  This is an essential party of communication between attorney and client since much of the discussion occurs outside of the courtroom. Most criminal attorneys will meet with their clients prior to court, often at their office.  The initial meeting is to discuss the facts surrounding the case, fees and potential defenses.  Often the process is also discussed, which may include the terms: indictment, arraignment, pretrial, preliminary hearing, plea and trial. Once a plea offer is made, the attorney will want to discuss with the client the terms of the plea agreement and the costs/benefits of accepting a plea or proceeding to trial.  At that time, relevant pretrial motions may also be discussed as well as trial strategy. This may necessarily include discussions of whether to have a jury trial, filing of motions and whether or not the defendant will testify at trial. All of these communications are important to the criminal defendant.  Being able to understand your attorney and communicate effectively is key to a just result.  Often a separate privately paid interpreter is necessary. Using an interpreter who is not qualified has 2 significant concerns: (1) is the conversation still confidential and protected by attorney-client privilege; and (2) is the interpreter correctly and accurately interpreting the statements.  Using a friend is fine for ordering dinner, but not when discussing the effects of a plea agreement.  A qualified interpreter is essential to explain the finer points of plea, trial and probation or parole and what is expected of the client/defendant. If you need an experienced criminal defense attorney, contact Michael Bouldin at [email protected].  If you need an interpreter, please say so and often one can be made available via telephone or in person.  Email or call to schedule an appointment or consultation at 859-581-6453.

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