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Title 17 - Criminal Procedures
Manner of prosecuting criminal action.
A criminal action is prosecuted by the State, as a party, against a person charged with a public offense, for the punishment thereof.
Prosecuting officer shall not accept fees or rewards, nor act in a civil case as counsel for either party.
No prosecuting officer shall receive any fee or reward from or in behalf of a prosecutor for services in any prosecution or business to which it is his official business to attend, nor be concerned as counsel or attorney for either party in a civil action depending upon the same state of facts.
Rule of strict construction is inapplicable to this Title.
The rule of the common law that statutes in derogation of that law are to be strictly construed has no application to this Title.
After discharge, dismissal or finding of innocence, criminal records must be destroyed.
Any person who after being charged with a criminal offense and such charge is discharged or proceedings against such person dismissed or is found to be innocent of such charge the arrest and booking record, files, mug shots, and fingerprints of such person shall be destroyed and no evidence of such record pertaining to such charge shall be retained by any municipal, county or State law enforcement agency.
Interpreter for party or witness unable to speak English; qualified interpreters defined; centralized list; use of interpreters not on list.
(A) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, whenever a party or witness to a criminal legal proceeding does not sufficiently speak the English language to testify, the court must appoint a qualified interpreter to interpret the proceedings and the testimony of the party or witness. However, the court may waive the use of a qualified interpreter if the court finds that it is not necessary for the fulfillment of justice. The court must first make a finding on the record that the waiver of a qualified interpreter is in the best interest of the party or witness and that this action is in the best interest of justice.
(B) A"qualified interpreter" means a person who:
(1) is eighteen years of age or older;
(2) is not a family member of the party or witness;
(3) is an instructor of foreign language at an institution of education; or
(4) has educational training or experience that enables him or her to fluently speak a foreign language and interpret the language of another person.
An "interpreter" shall not be a person confined to an institution.
(C) The court, through the chief administrative judge for the judicial circuit, shall determine a reasonable fee for the interpreting services, which must be paid out of the general fund of the State from funds appropriated to the Judicial Department for this purpose by the General Assembly.
(D) The Division of Court Administration shall maintain a centralized list of qualified interpreters to interpret the proceedings to and testimony of a party or witness. A party or a witness is not precluded from using a qualified interpreter who is not on the centralized list as long as the interpreter meets the requirements of subsection (B) and submits a sworn affidavit to the court specifying his or her qualifications.