New Evidence for Faulty Police Arrests
Criminal Defense Investigators are sworn to uphold the rights of those accused of crimes. They are skilled investigators who gather evidence and information for the defense, particularly in a criminal trial. While the prosecuting authorities have many investigators (e.g., police detectives, private detectives, and trial attorneys) on staff, many defendants gamble with few or no investigations. Often they choose an attractive person to be “blamed” for their crimes, such as a co-worker, a friend, or a neighbor. But this strategy often backfires and the defendant’s case may be dismissed due to lack of evidence or reliability of the “source.”
Criminal Defense Investigators often interview witnesses and collect data from the scene of the crime. These professionals rely on their knowledge of how to best contact witnesses to help their client achieve the best possible outcome. In many instances, criminal defense investigators interview witnesses by telephone to review voice recognition technology and use that information to determine if any witnesses corroborate statements made by the defendant. Because these professionals use investigative skills and tactics, expert testimony is essential in resolving criminal cases.
Once a criminal defense investigator gathers sufficient evidence to establish a case, he often turns that evidence over to the prosecutor. The prosecutor then uses this evidence against the defendant. Criminal defense investigators do not speak directly with any witnesses nor do they visit the scene of the crime. Rather, they follow leads provided by the prosecuting officials, interview potential witnesses, collect physical facts, investigate dates and times of occurrences, and collect other important facts about the case. Following the evidence to its logical conclusions is an integral part of the work of criminal defense investigators.
Different methodologies are used by criminal defense investigators. One component methodology collects facts through different means. These include interviewing witnesses, speaking to law enforcement personnel, examining physical evidence, consulting with prosecutors and presenting cases to trial. Each component method requires specific skill sets, training, and experience in order to obtain the appropriate witness and evidence to support the ultimate result.
As one can ascertain from the above example, there are many different component methodologies employed by criminal justice system professionals in their particular field. Consequently, many private investigators have opted to become private investigators instead of sticking to their particular area of expertise. The increasing demand for private investigators in the public sector has lead to private investigation becoming a large portion of the public defenders’ caseload.
Criminal justice professionals in every state are now required to complete education and certification in order to legally practice. These requirements vary by state so it is important to be aware of what you need to do in order to comply with your state’s regulations. Attorneys and law enforcement officers are required to complete the same training requirements that all other criminal defense investigators must meet. Requirements for becoming a public defender or a prosecutor require criminal defense investigators to be licensed through one of the ten nationwide recognized private investigator associations. Additionally, a prospective investigator must meet state and local regulations in order to practice.
Currently, Florida has the most extensive private investigator training requirements in the nation. Private investigators in Florida are required to complete both the associate degree in police administration along with two years of experience as an assistant police examiner. Applying to become an investigator in Florida is a multi-step process. The first step is to fill out an application called an Application for Admission to the Department of Corrections. Following the completion of this, a criminal defense investigator will be required to sit and interview with a correctional officer before being granted an admission.
An Associate Degree in Police Administration is necessary for future investigators because it helps them understand what they are required to do as well as gain a broad knowledge of the legal system. A Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice or a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice is also beneficial to prospective investigators because it demonstrates a commitment to serving justice in the form of service. Many states require new criminal defense investigators to pass a polygraph test in order to become employed by the prosecuting attorney’s office. However, passing the test is not always indicative that a person is a good candidate for a position; especially in smaller district offices.