Criminal Defense Investigators are trained professionals who gather evidence and information for a criminal defense attorney’s case. Unlike most attorneys, criminal defense attorneys have only a small amount of time to spend on their cases. The majority of their time is spent preparing pleadings, conducting interviews, and evaluating witnesses. While the prosecution typically has several investigators (including police detectives, prosecuting attorneys, and circuit court judges) on hand, many defendants gamble with few or no investigators at all. This strategy can cost the defendant time, money, and even more importantly, his or her freedom.
Criminal Defense Investigators perform investigative functions for their clients. These functions include gathering information from police investigations, interviewing suspects, examining crime scenes, collecting evidence, consulting with the defense, handling background and credit checks, interviewing witnesses, investigating crimes, and tracking down witnesses. Because investigators are required to follow proper procedures and obtain proper authorization before performing any investigation function, their services can be very valuable to their clients. In short, criminal defense investigators help the defense and the prosecutor achieve their goals.
While most people think of private investigators as experts that search the scene of a crime or make expensive phone calls to secure testimonies, these professionals perform many different types of investigative work. For example, many criminal defense investigators interview witnesses. This kind of questioning can take place in an informal setting, over the phone or via email. Interviewing witnesses involves determining the truthfulness of the testimony, gathering important details that will later be used in court, and determining if there is probable cause to believe a witness’s story.
Another important task that investigators carry out for their clients is examining crime scenes. If a crime has been committed, a criminal defense investigator must carefully examine the crime scene to determine if the crime has been planned, executed, or carried out with malice. A thorough investigator will also search for any evidence that will help prove the innocence of the client. For example, if a suspect has been questioned regarding a weapon transaction, the investigator may search through the suspect’s pockets, car trunk, home or apartment for the exact time that the transaction occurred. He or she will also ask other people who were involved or present at the scene and recorded details about what occurred.
Many state and local law enforcement agencies use criminal defense investigators as part of their everyday duties. Often, the DAs will visit government buildings, FBI facilities, or other crime scenes to gather intelligence information about a case before it is presented to a grand jury. A criminal defense investigator will often interview witnesses and collect information from the scene that cannot be obtained elsewhere. In some cases, the investigator will collaborate with other officials, including the police, state agents, and the prosecuting attorneys. The investigation can range from simple surveillance to obtaining physical descriptions of the witnesses and the perpetrators.
Private investigators have a variety of job responsibilities. For public law enforcement investigators, the primary responsibility is to do criminal defense investigations. This includes reviewing surveillance video footage from crime scenes and interviewing any witnesses. A private investigator may also consult with state and local law enforcement officials to conduct sting operations, release photographs and other details that might help in the case.
Private investigators often serve as the public’s eyes and ears when it comes to civil and criminal cases. Informal investigations are usually conducted by these investigators in order to build a client’s case. Such investigations can include conducting surveillance on business or property where a lawsuit against a person or company has been filed. A witness may provide useful information that will aid the investigative team build their case.
Private investigators may also serve as a liaison between the prosecutor and the defense attorney. These investigators can act as a connection between the two parties to avoid complications and keep everything confidential. Additionally, these individuals may also be instrumental in obtaining the necessary documents and other information in order to adequately represent their clients before the court. While these investigators are primarily known for their work in the criminal defense field, they are also useful in other fields. Any job that requires confidentiality, secrecy, or an interaction with law enforcement is likely in need of a private investigator.