What is a criminal defense investigator? A criminal defense investigator is a trained professional who can be legally hired by people, companies or NGOs to undertake investigative services. Private detectives usually work for lawyers in criminal and civil matters. Many private investigators specialize in one or two specific areas such as intellectual property theft, white-collar crime, fraud, corporate fraud, financial crimes, corporate, public sector fraud, kidnapping and murder, sex crimes and other related offenses.
Investigators are specialized in acquiring and preparing information needed for court cases. They must demonstrate a thorough understanding of the laws of the country in which they are working, have good writing skills, experience in a relevant field and be well versed in interviewing techniques. Many investigators work on a contract basis. This means that they are paid only if they successfully solve a case.
A private investigator can become an indispensable member of any legal team. He can build a strong case by interviewing witnesses, gathering information and reconstructing events after the case is complete. He can track down a missing person or piece of information that could help in the case. A good investigator can influence the jury or the judge to find the defendant not guilty.
Private detectives are now required in courts of all states. This is because crimes have become so widespread and because crimes have always been difficult to investigate effectively. A criminal investigator will be able to help in building a strong criminal case against a suspected criminal. The main role of investigators in criminal law is to gather information and provide expert witness services, especially in high profile criminal cases. They are sometimes referred to colloquially as “CSI’s”.
Private detectives are employed by most prosecutors and are usually very well known within the legal profession. There are also private investigative firms that do not work for the government. These firms have private investigators that will investigate and report on a case that they are representing. Many times these firms will retain attorneys to handle the actual case proceedings.
Investigators can become instrumental in a number of ways during a legal case. They may interview potential witnesses, dig up information that has been concealed by the perpetrator and use computer forensics to determine the location and content of any computer systems used by the suspect. Often criminal defense attorneys will seek the assistance of a private investigator on a contingency fee basis. This means that the defense attorney will not have to pay anything unless the case is won.
When hiring a private investigator, make sure that he is very thorough and doesn’t skip steps. You want to know exactly what the investigator’s fees are and if there will be any retainer fees. It also helps if the investigator you choose is reputable, diligent and follows through on a timely basis. It can also help if the defense attorney you choose chooses uses a company or person that is trustworthy.
So, now you know what a criminal defense investigator is. Hopefully this information has helped to clear up some of the confusion that surrounds this topic. If you would like to hire an investigator to conduct a personal investigation, then consider using an online service that offers a free consultation. This will allow you to speak to the investigator in full before hiring them to conduct any investigation.
If you find that you do need the services of a private investigator to fight a criminal case, then you will want to make sure that you choose the right one. You should take the time to check references and check with local law enforcement agencies to see if the investigator that you plan to hire is qualified. You may even want to check with your private insurance provider to ensure that they do not have a policy against investigators that are certified by the National Association of Legal Investigators (NALI). This would be a good time to ask about the policy if it is known to be in place. In fact, if you have any questions you should call the insurance company and talk to a supervisor.
If the investigator you choose is not a member of NALI, then you should still inquire as to their qualifications. If you are pressed for time then you could always just ask for a recommendation. Most criminal defense lawyers will tell you if they would recommend them or not. If a lawyer has never handled a case similar to yours then it may be a good idea to find out as to his/her experience.
As you can see, there are quite a few questions to ask before hiring an investigator. It will be essential if you take the time to do a bit of research before your next meeting with your private criminal defense attorney. Make sure that you feel comfortable and trust the person who answers your calls and that you know all of the information which will be provided during your case. Never feel as if you are asking too many questions or that you are not getting enough information. If you take the time to learn all of the information relating to your case, then you will feel more comfortable with the investigator and have a better understanding of the entire situation.