What is a Criminal Defense Investigator?
What is a criminal defense investigator and what does he do? A criminal investigator, an investigator, a private investigator, or investigation agent, is someone who is able to hire people, teams or NGOs to undertake investigative functions for them. Private investigators may also work for lawyers in criminal and civil matters. Their job involves locating witnesses, suspects, secretors and informers. They follow leads till they are able to identify the people involved in the crime and obtain concrete evidence against the accused.
One of the most important aspects of being a qualified investigator is having a clear vision of the area to be investigated. Most investigators have a specialization. They may choose to specialize in one particular area such as corporate security, intellectual property rights, cyber crimes, frauds and scams, public crimes, missing persons, white collar crime, sex crimes and even hit and run cases.
A special talent for finding hidden evidence and an ability to apply deductive reasoning in order to arrive at conclusions that support the case are also important qualities. The ability to communicate well with a variety of people, comprehend situations and follow instructions while conducting investigations are other necessary qualities. It is important to have a thorough understanding of the legal process so that the investigations undertaken to comply with prevailing laws.
A good investigator is meticulous in his job. His concentration is not only on getting evidence to support the prosecution’s case but also gathering evidence that can help the defense. It is very important for an investigator to have a thorough understanding of the law because he may be called upon to argue on behalf of the defendants in court, to provide reports to law enforcement authorities on his client’s whereabouts, to scrutinize potential evidence and to testify on behalf of the defendant at trial.
Criminal defense investigators are usually self-employed. The best option is to start your own private investigation practice. This will give you the experience and knowledge needed to become one of the most sought after specialists in this field. By starting your own practice you will be able to concentrate on your case full-time while earning a very lucrative second income.
Because criminal investigators obtain convictions based on the evidence they collect, it is very important that they are ethical and competent. Self-discipline is required. Training is also essential. A good investigator must be able to demonstrate that he has the knowledge needed to competently and correctly perform various tasks, such as interviewing witnesses, gathering and comparing evidence, preparing and presenting cases, tracking down deleted evidence, interviewing suspects, obtaining personal information and analyzing the case.
What is a criminal defense investigator? The answer to that question varies greatly from person to person. As a practicing attorney, I have known many individuals who thought a career as an investigator would be a good way to “endure the ignominy” of a criminal conviction. Others have decided that the reward of becoming a professional investigator is worth the risk of a career-damaging conviction. Still others are happy to work at a law firm doing the minimum for the benefits received.
In my opinion the most important question to ask yourself before deciding to become a criminal defense investigator is what type of investigator you want to be. Do you have the time and/or resources to devote to this profession? What are your options for career advancement within the field? Are you willing to accept the risks inherent in becoming a professional investigator? If you are willing to take the risk and pursue your goals, you are more than qualified to become a criminal justice investigator!