Criminal Defense Investigators and Their Importance
A career as a criminal defense investigator can be a very rewarding, but challenging vocation. The main goal of an experienced defense lawyer is to effectively represent their client before the judge and ensure that they get a fair trial. Their investigators seek out all key aspects of the case, searching for discrepancies that may be favorable for the defense. This may include gathering direct testimony from witnesses, surveillance tapes, secret witnesses, any forensic evidence that could tie the suspect to the crime, or any information that might sway the jurors’ opinion. In exchange for their time and expertise, lawyers often receive compensation. Most often the cost of private investigators is deducted from the final outcome of any case.
Although criminal defense investigators are often referred to as eye witnesses, they are not legally allowed to take a direct look at the actions or statements of a suspect. Instead, their testimonies must be based on their thorough examination of all available evidence. If a suspect is charged with obstruction of justice or concealment of information, his attorney will use their findings to argue in court that there is a lack of proof that the statements are false or misleading.
Not all criminal defense investigators are private investigators. Some are part of law enforcement agencies and work for the government. They provide investigative services to both public and private clients, performing surveillance, interviewing, and obtaining physical descriptions of witnesses. Their reports are often submitted to both criminal defense attorneys and prosecutors. In some cases, they are also called on to testify at trial, although this is not common.
There are a few things to consider when choosing a private investigator to help you with your legal case. First, it is important to find someone who is experienced and well-versed in the area of criminal justice that you need help in. Not only must he or she be knowledgeable about the workings of the system, but he or she must understand you as a person, too. Your attorney will be using every possible opportunity to paint you in a positive light. The person conducting the criminal justice work for you must understand your mindset and willingness to cooperate. Never choose to go it alone when working with a private investigator.
If you are dealing with serious criminal charges, you may want to consider hiring a private investigator to work on your case with you. Before choosing to do so, though, it is important to make sure that the individual you select has the ability to perform the tasks needed to defend you in court. Most private investigators are experienced investigators and are highly trained in the art of conducting thorough and complex criminal defense investigations. As such, they should be able to gather the evidence that is necessary to provide you with the best possible defense. Unfortunately, there are some law enforcement investigators who lack appropriate training and experience for handling cases that involve police officers, corrections officers and other law enforcement individuals.
A good defense attorney will always seek to build a strong relationship with his or her clients. In turn, the criminal defense investigators that your defense attorney chooses to work with should be highly respectful of your attorney and willing to listen to any and all questions that you may have. If an investigator makes you feel uneasy or is constantly making snide comments, there may be better ways to conduct your private investigation.
Unfortunately, some law enforcement personnel to take a more aggressive approach when interviewing potential criminal defense investigators. In this instance, if you feel uncomfortable with one particular investigator, it may be a good idea to look elsewhere. Before you allow one of your criminal defense investigators to interview you, make sure to carefully vet any and all potential candidates. Some potential investigators have a reputation for harassing their clients and/or making false promises during the course of the investigation.
The work of criminal defense investigators is crucial to protecting not only your rights but also the rights of those whom you hold in high regard. It is your responsibility, as a client, to do whatever you can to ensure that your attorney and the investigators you hire are doing everything in their power to protect your legal rights. If you feel as though you are being railroaded into a situation, you have the right to have an independent professional investigation conducted by someone who is not connected to either the police or the defense. You have nothing to lose, and you could wind up saving your attorney from making a costly mistake. By hiring an investigator who is not associated with either side, you will ensure that everything is handled ethically and appropriately.