Criminal Defense Investigators is special agents of the state police or the Department of Justice and perform investigative duties for law enforcement agencies. These special police agents are sworn upon by the state to serve diligently in resolving cases involving violations of state law. These investigators are often considered heroes among their peers. The job of criminal defense investigators is to gather testimony from witnesses and provide essential investigative tools to help their fellow agents win their cases.
Criminal defense investigators are often referred to colloquially as “CSI’s” or “CID’s.” Their work requires them to follow-up on potentially lead-edged testimony from witnesses. To collect evidence, they must follow-up using recorded statements, surveillance video, secret cameras, secret listening devices, and other means. In some instances, criminal defense investigators use GPS tracking to track the exact location and activities of potential witnesses. For many investigators, testimony is the most important part of a case, but failure to properly document and record it can often make a witness’ statement unreliable.
One of the prime jobs of criminal defense investigators is to interview witnesses and obtain crucial information from them that can either help their own case or cost them their liberty. To build a strong case against an individual defendant, a knowledgeable investigator needs to interview multiple witnesses. Interviewing witnesses, both direct and indirect, is the cornerstone of a thorough investigation. There are usually no rules of thumb regarding how many direct and indirect witnesses a lawyer should ask about a client’s case, because the investigator’s goal is to build a robust prosecution.
Many times, a criminal defense investigator will use secret sources to gather intelligence on a possible defendant. While the quality of such sources is suspect, there may be numerous sources available to a legal professional. Sources may include friends, co-workers, or confidential Informants. Often times, law enforcement officers are kept well informed of the activity of their own detectives. The same is true for FBI agents and other law enforcement personnel.
As a criminal defense investigator, you will be involved in some difficult and stressful Situations. Your work will involve dealing with some very unsavory people. If you don’t treat people well, your career may be imperiled. It is important that you maintain a professional and friendly disposition with all individuals you interview. Remember, you could be sharing personal information with a potential witness, and you want to make sure your actions do not have any potentially negative consequences.
The role of a skilled investigator is to build a strong prosecution with the testimony of witnesses. Your testimony may be the key piece of evidence against a criminal defendant. Your testimony may be the determining factor as to whether a jury renders a verdict of not guilty or provides testimony at trial that helps to clear the name of a wrongfully accused individual.
As a criminal defense attorney, it is important that you know what you are doing when you are working with police officers or other law enforcement personnel. You will need to understand how to remain professional while still following the law. Always stay informed of your client and their rights.
Criminal investigators are in an excellent position to provide you with critical and important information regarding criminal cases. But just like all professionals, you must meet certain qualifications. Make sure that you have discussed your goals with your potential criminal defense attorney. Ask about the type of investigator that he would recommend for your case. Be sure that you understand how to give him all of the information he needs. A good relationship between you and your investigator will go a long way in helping you build a strong case against your suspect.