Google translations don’t pass U.S. Constitutional muster

Posted on: July 16th, 2018 by Suzanne Deliscar Add A Comment

Google Translate is not an appropriate way for police to obtain consent for a search, Brampton lawyer-linguist Suzanne Deliscar tells

A recent U.S. ruling by a court in Kansas tossed out evidence obtained in the search of a man’s car after he consented during a conversation over Google Translate because he could not speak English.

“It was definitely the right decision to find the evidence inadmissible,” says Deliscar, principal of Deliscar Professional Corporation, a law firm that offers services in English, French and Spanish. “Google Translate does not have guaranteed accuracy, so it would have been difficult to find the consent valid.”

The case involved a Mexican national with a valid U.S. visa who was pulled over by police. Since he only spoke Spanish, the man pulled out his laptop to conduct a conversation. In the process, he agreed to a search of the car, even though he was legally entitled to refuse, resulting in the seizure of a large quantity of cocaine and methamphetamines.

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