1976 South Carolina Code of Laws
Unannotated
Updated through the end of the 2001 Session

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Title 17 - Criminal Procedures

CHAPTER 1.

GENERAL PROVISIONS

SECTION 17-1-10. 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.

SECTION 17-1-20. 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.

SECTION 17-1-30. 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.

SECTION 17-1-40. 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.

SECTION 17-1-50. Interpreters in criminal proceedings.

(A) As used in this section:

(1) "Certified interpreter" means an interpreter who meets the standards contained in subitem (A)(4) and is certified by the administrative office of the United States courts, by the office of the administrator for the state courts, or by a nationally recognized professional organization.

(2) "Legal proceeding" means a proceeding in which a nonEnglish speaking person is a party or a witness.

(3) "NonEnglish speaking person" means a party or a witness participating in a legal proceeding who has limited ability to speak or understand the English language.

(4) "Qualified interpreter" means a person who:

(a) is eighteen years of age or older;

(b) is not a family member of a party or a witness;

(c) is not a person confined to an institution; and

(d) has education, training, or experience that enables him to speak English and a foreign language fluently, and is readily able to interpret simultaneously and consecutively and to sight-translate documents from English into the language of a nonEnglish speaking person, or from the language of that person into spoken English.

(5) "Victim" means a victim as defined in Section 16-3-1110.

(6) "Witness" means a person who testifies in a legal proceeding.

(B)(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, whenever a party, witness, or victim in a criminal legal proceeding does not sufficiently understand or speak the English language to comprehend the proceeding or to testify, the court must appoint a certified or otherwise qualified interpreter to interpret the proceedings to the party or victim or to interpret the testimony of the witness.

(2) However, the court may waive the use of a certified or otherwise 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 certified or otherwise qualified interpreter is requested by a nonEnglish speaking party, witness, or victim in a legal proceeding; that the waiver has been made knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently; and that granting the waiver is in the best interest of justice.

(C) The selection, use, and reimbursement of interpreters must be determined under such guidelines as may be established by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. All fees for interpreting services 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 must maintain a centralized list of certified or otherwise qualified interpreters to interpret the proceedings to a party and testimony of a 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 subitem (A)(4) and submits a sworn affidavit to the court specifying his qualifications or submits to a voir dire by the court.





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