Submitted: November 13, 2019
Below: Superior Court of the State of Delaware Cr. ID No.
SEITZ, Chief Justice; VALIHURA, and TRAYNOR, Justices.
COLLINS J. SEITZ, JR. CHIEF JUSTICE.
3rd day of December, 2019, having considered the
briefs and the record below, it appears to the Court that:
Javier Perez is not a United States citizen, his native
language is Spanish, and he has lived in this country for 30
years. On April 11, 2018, police arrested and charged Perez
with Fifth Offense DUI, Following Too Closely, Failure to
Report Address Change and Failure to have Possession of
Registration. Perez discussed his case with his attorney,
with the assistance of an interpreter, and understood what
they discussed. At one meeting, Perez brought a relative
in case he needed an interpretation, but the relative only
assisted once. On October 30, 2018, Perez, with the
assistance of an interpreter, knowingly and intelligently
pled guilty to Fifth Offense DUI. Then on March 1, 2019,
Perez was sentenced without the assistance of an interpreter.
At sentencing, he did not request an interpreter, nor did he
indicate that he did not understand the
appeal, Perez argues that the Superior Court violated his
rights under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of
the United States Constitution when it did not provide a
Spanish interpreter during his sentencing
hearing. Because this issue was not raised in the
Superior Court, we review for plain error. "[P]lain
error is limited to material defects which are apparent on
the face of the record; which are basic, serious and
fundamental in their character, and which clearly deprive an
accused of a substantial right, or which clearly show
have held that "[a] criminal defendant who is unable to
understand the English language is effectively denied the
right to consult with an attorney, to confront his or her
accusers, and/or to waive constitutional rights knowingly,
intelligently, and voluntarily." Perez's attorney failed
to request an interpreter at sentencing. But, after a careful
review of the record, we find that Perez entered his plea
knowingly, voluntarily and intelligently.
With the assistance of an interpreter, counsel discussed the
plea with Perez ahead of time, advised him of his rights
under the Constitution, discussed the immigration
consequences with him, and answered his questions to his
satisfaction.Even though Perez is not a citizen of the
United States,  he has lived in the country for 30
years. During questioning from the court, he
apologized for his English, and the court replied that it
understood him. The record supports, and Perez did not
dispute, that Perez understands English and knew the
potential consequences of pleading guilty. Thus, sentencing
him without an interpreter did not violate his constitutional
rights, and the Superior Court did not plainly err.
THEREFORE IT IS ORDERED that the judgment of the Superior
Court is AFFIRMED.
 App. to Opening Br. at A-9-12.