A private investigator, a covert investigative agent or a private detective, is someone who can easily be hired by people, associations or NGOs to undertake investigative services. Private investigators also work for lawyers in criminal and civil cases. He may act as a silent witness to any proceedings as well. This means he will not reveal his identity but will remain undercover.
There are many reasons why a private investigator would be used. The most common are investigating crimes that have been committed and the subsequent prosecution of those involved. He may be called upon to serve as a confidante to the investigating officer who is doing the ground work on a case, so he can follow-up and get vital information that is required in court. Sometimes, he is asked to conduct interviews of witnesses in a criminal case in order to gather important evidence against the suspects. Other times, he may be asked to follow a subject around the country so he can track him wherever he goes.
Private investigation has many uses and benefits. It is useful in finding out if there is any truth to a charge. Sometimes, when people are suspected of committing crimes, they simply deny the charges; however, having an investigator to confirm or refute these claims could help prove their innocence. It is also useful in tracking down people who are thought to be involved in criminal activities. In addition, it is useful to protect the legal rights of individuals and stop harassment.
There are several kinds of investigators. One is the personal detective. He is the only employee of the law firm and is charged with building a case against a client. He gathers information, conducts interviews, writes reports and presents them to the attorneys. Another type of investigator is the public official investigator whose job is to follow-up on leads and collect evidence that will be used in the case.
There are two types of private investigators: those working for a government agency and private detectives. A government investigator works for the government and is paid for his work. Private detectives to work for themselves and receive their fees only after locating a client. Private detectives have more skill and training than their government counterparts and are better able to obtain tangible evidence. Because they deal with high-level confidential information, they are better able to investigate and provide proof. Therefore, a defense investigator has a higher burden of proof to convince a jury.
A qualified investigator should have experience and expertise in the area of law in which the case will be tried. For instance, if he is going to defend someone who has been charged with murder, he must have extensive experience with the elements of the death penalty appeal. He should also have strong references and be known among friends as a skilled investigator. If he is to become your defense attorney, he needs to be experienced and knowledgeable in the legal field in which your case will be tried. You will be investing heavily in this person’s credibility and you want to make sure they are trustworthy and will fight to the very end for you.
Since the investigator works for you on a retainer basis, you need to find out what type of retainer agreement you have. In most states, an investigator or private detective who obtains physical evidence or live testimony must reimburse you for all costs. This includes transportation costs to and from the trial and any other costs incurred by him. Some states do not require an investigator to reimburse you but instead allow him to submit bills to cover these expenses. Others require the investigator to submit a list of all expenses so you can review them and make sure you will be able to reimburse them.
When hiring a defense investigator, it is important that you get everything in writing. This will help avoid problems later on if there are issues regarding the investigation or the witness. Knowing what is a criminal defense investigator and the responsibility he has to you and your case can make a big difference in the outcome of your case.