In any proceedings, a person financially able to make his own provisions is, on the whole, likely to command assistance of a higher calibre. Expenses may also arise due to linguistic problems not only in court in connection with oral interpretation but also out of court, for instance in connection with the translation of relevant documents. Furthermore, a person who is preparing to go to court may need to address his counsel through an interpreter while preparing his case.
While most legal systems attempt to provide for interpretation, free or otherwise, for persons without a sufficient knowledge of the language of the court, this is not an invariable rule. Official provision of aid is less automatic in civil and administrative, than in criminal, cases; and although, in criminal proceedings, the great majority of legal systems make some provisions for interpretation for the benefit of those without a sufficient command of the language or languages used in court and for assistance to those who are handicapped in speech or hearing, and provide such aid free (even if no legal requirement of such aid exists the courts nearly always make [ad hoc] arrangements in criminal proceedings), in several countries the accused may be condemned to pay the cost of interpretation if he is found guilty. In Madagascar, if the condemned person does not have the means to pay such cost, he is imprisoned for a debt after his sentence runs out.
Despite availability of legal interpretation for the speech and hearing impaired, few interpreters are properly trained to fully represent their clients. If an interpreter for a deaf individual fails to adequately relate her testimony, she has no means of recognizing fault in the interpretation and her chances for a fair trial are minimal. The hearing and speech impaired may be further burdened by additional legal costs, as such interpretation often renders the judicial process twice as long.