Right to a Certified Interpreter In a Preliminary Hearing

In People v. Estrada (1986) 176 Cal. App. 3d 410 221 Cal. Rptr. 922, there were two interpreters utilized at the defendant's preliminary hearing, one certified, one not certified. On appeal, the defendant claimed it was error to proceed with a noncertified interpreter absent a personal waiver by the defendant. The appellate court noted that there is no requirement in the Government Code that a certified interpreter must be utilized in every instance, and an uncertified interpreter may be used as long as there is good cause shown for such an appointment. ( Id. at p. 415.) The appellate court found that "there is no right . . . to a certified interpreter. There is only a right to a competent interpreter . . . . Certification is simply foundational to the interpreter's competence." (Ibid.)