Defending oneself in court is typically best accomplished by first knowing what the hell people are saying. In the regard William M. Kral failed miserably. But through failure can come success.
Because now a Benton County District Court judge has reversed Kral's DUI conviction because the reason he couldn't undertsand what was being said at his original hearing was because he's deaf, and there was no one around to translate for him.
But when Kral was arraigned, no sign language interpreter was available in the courtroom. When he signed a paper waiving his constitutional right to a speedy trial, the interpreter who explained the document to him was unqualified, Spencer said.
Kral not only got his conviction vacated, he got $4,600 in fines returned to him.
Interestingly, though Kral had fought his conviction for some five years on the grounds that no sign-language interpreter was available in court, when he was finally vindicated there was still no interpreter around and Kral had to bring in his own.
After the trial Kral said that his efforts were made on behalf of other deaf people.
"This issue is not about money and not about me personally. It's about making sure deaf people get equal access and to try to raise that awareness."