When hiring an interpreter either for a personal event such as an immigration appointment, a pro-se court hearing or any other type of proceeding, be sure to obtain the interpreter’s credentials and certification information. Simply because a person is fluent in another language, does not qualify them to interpret at a court of law or to properly translate a certain document.
The judicial system in the State of Florida, requires that a person interpreting at a legal proceeding have not only the appropriate qualifications, but also experience. There are certain guidelines and ethics that an interpreter should follow. One of the most important ethical guidelines is not to give legal advice.
Remember the next time you need to hire an interpreter ask important questions such as: Has he/she previously interpreted in a court of law? Is he/she certified? Through what agencies are his/her qualifications valid?