Criminal Defense Investigators is employed by the prosecution or by the defense. They are highly trained professionals whose main function is to collect evidence and information for the defense. While most prosecutors have several investigators (i.e. police detectives, forensic examiners, and trial lawyers) on staff, many defendants gamble with the confidence that the “magic of testimony” will win them the case. This is often not the case.
In most cases, it is better for an individual with legal representation to have the assistance of criminal defense investigators. Attorneys representing the indigent or those who are financially disadvantaged do not have the time to investigate every potential lead that proves problematic. In many cases, the defense attorney may have a greater liability for time consuming activities than for any cost savings they might achieve. The legal representative does not have the same overhead costs that the private detective or private investigator may have.
Sometimes, the most important activity for a criminal defense investigator to be involved in is negotiating a plea bargain. Often, guilty pleas are offered at lower charges in exchange for testimony against the defendant. Having a professional on retainer who is adept at dealing with these kinds of cases makes a significant difference in whether a plea deal can be satisfactory to the defendant and the legal team. It is best to have an investigator on retainer when a person has legal representation. The cost of retaining an investigator may seem insignificant compared to the benefit of avoiding a conviction.
It is often recommended that an individual with legal representation seek the services of a professional investigator instead of relying on their own ability to conduct a thorough investigation. This approach is especially helpful for people who are accused of crimes related to violent crimes. Detectives and examiners who have experience in working homicide cases, sexual assault cases, kidnapping, drug and alcohol crimes, and other types of criminal cases often have an advantage over those without experience. These experts possess the knowledge needed to gather evidence and interview witnesses.
Another important reason to retain criminal defense investigators is that these investigators are well-trained in the rules of evidence and procedure. This allows them to effectively follow the mandates laid forth by a judge or prosecutor. Because these professionals have years of experience dealing with the most complex cases, they also have extensive knowledge of the complex laws applied in many states. The vast majority of investigators are very good at keeping their clients out of jail and out of prison. However, they are often unable to defeat a motion to suppress based on the fact that they failed to perform the proper procedures during their investigation.
Many times a defense attorney will be successful at getting a conviction at trial based on the testimony of their expert witnesses. However, there are numerous times when interviewing a potential witness can help the defense build a strong case. It is important for investigators to remember that any witness who gives testimony in a criminal trial is potentially very influential. Criminal defense investigators must be careful to follow all applicable laws and procedures when interviewing potential witnesses. They must also remain mindful that their goal is to obtain admissible evidence to help their client win their case.
Crime scene investigators are typically very thorough and methodical in their work. When conducting a proper investigation, they carefully map out the crime scene, collect physical evidence, collect samples of the victim’s blood, clothing, and hair, and observe surrounding conditions. These professionals are trained to look for and record anything that might link a suspect to the crime. For example, if a suspect enters a car at a high traffic area after using the restroom, this can be used as strong evidence against them. Physical evidence is very important for this type of investigation. Since most crime scenes are relatively small, physical evidence can be difficult to interpret.
There are numerous benefits to hiring a professional private investigator over an expert in the criminal justice system. Private investigators are able to use technological methods such as GPS technology to track a person or item that has been wanted. This means that law enforcement investigators do not have to do the tedious laborious task of tracking a person down all over the United States. This can make the job of a private investigator much easier. Private investigators can also interview witnesses for a case, provide other invaluable information to a lawyer, and help establish the credibility of any witness or piece of physical evidence.