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75-4351. Interpreters appointed for deaf, hard of hearing, speech impaired and persons whose primary language is other than English; proceeding in which appointment authorized. A qualified interpreter shall be appointed in the following cases for persons whose primary language is one other than English, or who is a deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired person: (a) In any grand jury proceeding, when such person is called as a witness;

(b) in any court proceeding involving such person and such proceeding may result in the confinement of such person or the imposition of a penal sanction against such person;

(c) in any civil proceeding, whether such person is the plaintiff, defendant or witness in such action;

(d) in any proceeding before a board, commission, agency, or licensing authority of the state or any of its political subdivisions, when such person is the principal party in interest;

(e) prior to any attempt to interrogate or take a statement from a person who is arrested for an alleged violation of a criminal law of the state or any city ordinance.

History: L. 1972, ch. 341, § 1; L. 1973, ch. 364, § 1; L. 1993, ch. 223, § 5; July 1.

Law Review and Bar Journal References:

Criminal Procedure Survey, 55 K.L.R. 797 (2007).


1. Qualifications and use of and challenges to interpreters discussed in detail. State v. Pham, 234 K. 649, 660, 675 P.2d 848 (1984).

2. Regardless whether interpreter present, trial court must determine if defendant, knowing Miranda rights, freely and knowingly made statement. State v. Zuniga, 237 K. 788, 791, 792, 703 P.2d 805 (1985).

3. Cited; in-custody statement from one whose primary language is not English in absence of interpreter examined. State v. Garcia, 243 K. 662, 663, 763 P.2d 585 (1988).

4. Effect of failure to have interpreter present examined. State v. Nguyen, 251 K. 69, 74, 833 P.2d 937 (1992).

5. Consent to search examined when consent given by person whose primary language is not English. State v. Montano, 18 K.A.2d 502, 855 P.2d 979 (1993).

6. Whether section's requirement that interpreter be uninterested should apply to out-of-state jurisdictions examined. State v. Gallegos, 255 K. 382, 386, 874 P.2d 647 (1994).

7. Whether failure to qualify communications facilitator as an interpreter for autistic child witness constitutes reversible error examined. State v. Warden, 257 K. 94, 116, 891 P.2d 1074 (1994).

8. Issue of whether defendant sufficiently understood English to waive Miranda rights examined. State v. Salcido-Corral, 262 K. 392, 406, 940 P.2d 11 (1997).

9. Section does not require an interpreter to inform deaf mute driver of consequences of refusing alcohol breath test. State v. Bishop, 264 K. 717, 720, 957 P.2d 369 (1998).

10. Section does not require use of interpreter prior to obtaining consent to search; evidence shows consent was made knowingly and voluntarily. State v. Rosas, 28 K.A.2d 382, 17 P.3d 379 (2000).

11. Failure to provide interpreter did not vitiate defendant's statements freely, voluntarily, knowingly and understandingly made. State v. Pham, 281 K. 1227, 1241, 136 P.3d 919 (2006).

12. A Spanish-speaking police officer questioning a Spanish-speaking criminal suspect in Spanish is not acting as an "interpreter." State v. Garcia-Baron, 50 K.A.2d 500, 504, 329 P.3d 1247 (2014).

13. Statute and related provisions do not create new protections but instead reflect the Legislature's intent to create a process through which public officials shall appoint interpreters for eligible persons to ensure the quality of translation does not fall below existing constitutional thresholds. Khalil-Alsalaami v. State, 313 K. 472, 496, 486 P.3d 1216 (2021).

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