Criminal Defense Investigators (CDI) is an investigative service whose goal is to provide superior courtroom preparedness to their clients. The goal of the criminal defense investigators is to provide a wealth of experience in court room preparations and courtroom security. They will gather intelligence for criminal cases from sources that are not always easy to locate. This type of investigation is used by prosecutors and defense attorneys in a variety of circumstances. Criminal defense lawyers rely on their CDI to provide information to assist them in preparing their case.
There are a variety of sources for CDI to conduct investigations. Many public defenders and prosecutors will rely on private investigators. Private investigators can help investigate crimes, evaluate potential witnesses, and perform background checks on individuals. Some criminal defense attorneys may also turn to private investigators to assist them in preparation of their case. Although some states do not allow criminal defense attorneys to hire private investigators, most allow them to conduct a limited investigation within the attorney’s office and outside of it.
The majority of public defenders and most prosecutors will not engage private investigators because they believe they are overstepping their bounds. They believe that the private sector does not have the same level of integrity as the government. In other instances, state governments and law enforcement officials believe they are overstepping their boundaries by engaging private investigators. The fact remains that there are many gray areas when it comes to the investigations that are conducted by public defenders’ office and law enforcement officials. Private investigators and the criminal justice system in general need to better understand all of the limitations placed on them to provide adequate investigative support to their clients.
The limitations imposed on criminal defense investigators do not apply to FBI agents, IRS agents, or U.S. marshals. Agents of the FBI, Marshals, or U.S. marshals must abide by a written internal policy that establishes their responsibilities and limitations regarding surveillance. This policy may outline which types of surveillance are allowed and which are not. If a private investigator crosses the boundaries established by this policy, he can potentially be disciplined by his employer.
Other limitations for criminal defense investigators include not interviewing witnesses who refuse to answer questions or are not in agreement with the investigator’s opinion of the case. Interviewing a witness who is under investigation is also strictly prohibited. This includes any individual who testifies against you in a criminal case. Although interviewing witnesses may be a time-consuming task, it is required to gather all of the appropriate evidence necessary to present your case in front of the jury.
Private investigators cannot use hidden cameras or other surveillance devices to observe crime scene activity or take photographs or videos without the permission of the subjects in question. Also, they may not use any electronic or wireless means to contact another person other than the subjects they have been hired to interview. They cannot falsely suggest that they have evidence that will help their client to get a lighter sentence or avoid jail time. Finally, criminal defense investigators are not allowed to make any promises to law enforcement personnel before consulting with them. If law enforcement personnel ask an investigator to offer information concerning a specific crime that the client is charged with, the investigator is required to tell the law enforcement personnel everything he or she knows about the case. He or she may also be asked to provide backup sources if the original source lacks information.
Many states have created regulations for criminal defense investigators. These regulations generally define the qualifications needed for employment, the types of reports the investigators can prepare for their clients, and the conditions under which their clients may give permission for investigators to spy on their communications. Additionally, state regulations often outline what investigators may disclose to a defense attorney. Federal investigators must keep confidential any information that helps a client in a criminal case. However, state investigators are not allowed to disclose any information that would help a client commits a crime. In some states, defense attorneys can request that their investigators to turn over all files to the defense attorney without first obtaining court approval.
Criminal defense attorneys rely heavily on their investigators. These attorneys frequently interview potential witnesses and compile numerous reports that are used in court. These documents include everything from e-mails that were sent or received by the potential target of the investigation to details about financial transactions and personal history that the target may not have known. Criminal defense attorneys use this information to build strong cases against their clients. Attorneys rely on their expertise to provide effective legal representation to their clients.