Criminal Defense Investigators and the Services They Provide
Criminal Defense Investigators makes a vital contribution to the success of any criminal case. Their valuable role as informers and witnesses allows the prosecution and defense to put their best foot forward in court. It can be an extremely stressful time for victims and their families when they go to trial and the prospect of standing before a judge, defense attorney, and the jury is daunting. Criminal Defense Investigators (CDI) provide invaluable services that help victims and their families cope with the criminal justice system. They work closely with defense and law enforcement personnel to gather important evidence from secret sources and bring it to the forefront of the court.
Criminal defense investigators consult with the client, the prosecutor, and any other law enforcement personnel who may be involved in the case. They then interview potential witnesses. They obtain physical and testimony from potential witnesses. They follow-up with victim impact statements and victim impact interviews to compile a comprehensive witness report. From there, they conduct a thorough investigation of the crime, gather and evaluate data, and determine if any criminal activity may have occurred. Once all the data is analyzed, the investigator prepares a report for presentation to the client, prosecutor, or the judge.
The criminal justice system would not function without the dedication and professionalism of criminal defense investigators. CI’s play a key role in building a strong foundation for a case. They ensure that interviews are conducted with all possible witnesses. They search for hidden evidence, interview witnesses underlying circumstances, collect secret data, and track down hidden witnesses. These investigators make sure a defendant’s rights are protected and ensure that the suspect receives his day in court. These professionals often play a crucial role in the outcome of cases.
There are many times when a criminal defense investigator is called upon to testify about the credibility and reliability of key witnesses. When key witnesses refuse to talk or are known to lie, the investigator is called upon to provide sound reasoning as to why the witness cannot possibly lie. As an example, if three different witnesses give different accounts of a specific event, the criminal defense investigator determines which one is likely to be true. The expert then helps the jury build their own opinion based on all the information gathered.
CI’s are not limited to police work. Many private individuals, including corporate executives, hire a criminal defense attorney to review their case. There are many times when law enforcement officials make mistakes. When these mistakes occur, the results can be disastrous for a person’s case. A criminal defense investigator has the training and knowledge needed to identify and eliminate problematic elements in a case.
Another valuable service provided by a CI is cross-examinations. Cross-examinations are usually conducted after a witness testifies. If a witness fails to provide sufficient information to a law enforcement officer investigating a crime, the investigator investigates for other witnesses who could help strengthen the prosecution’s case. This type of investigation is extremely important for a witness who may be scared to talk because he or she might be implicated by other witnesses.
In many cases, a criminal defense investigator also performs video surveillance. A CI can identify cameras that may have been tampered with and can review the videos to see if anything appears to be out of place. Video surveillance is very helpful in determining the time of day that a crime was committed and the number of people who may have witnessed it. This technology is used in many civil and criminal cases, but especially in drug and gang investigations. A CI is crucial in determining if a crime was done or attempted, and who may have been involved.
A criminal defense investigator can offer the same services that the defense lawyer offers. These experts are trained in interviewing witnesses, conducting surveillance and reviewing video footage. Most CI’s have vast experience in the area of criminal law, having worked with various law enforcement agencies and the courts for decades. Experience is the key to succeeding as an investigator, as they must know everything about the system from the beginning of the case to the end.