The Role That Criminal Defense Investigators and CCDI Play in the Case of a Convicted Felon
Criminal Defense Investigators are trained professionals that collect evidence and information for the defense in any criminal case. While the prosecution usually has several investigators (e.g., police officers, forensic psychiatrists, and prosecution psychologists) on staff, many defendants bet without hiring even one special investigator. This is unfortunate because these same detectives and other employees of the prosecution are the same individuals that will be called upon by the defense to review testimony, collect evidence, collect witnesses, interview witnesses, collect and test evidence, etc. Therefore, having one person dedicated solely to these tasks leaves little time for anything else.
In addition, there are many advantages to having private investigators as opposed to private law enforcement officers. For starters, private investigators possess much more investigative tools that investigative personnel in the police force do not have. Some of these investigative tools include surveillance tools such as video cameras, GPS tracking, secret cameras, hidden video tapes, microphones, video monitors, computers, and other tools and devices that are used by private investigators to gather evidence. On the other hand, private investigators are not limited to just gathering evidence and reports. Because they are professionals, they are also proficient at legal research, interviewing witnesses, tracking down sources, identifying suspects, and much more.
Private law enforcement investigators may serve as undercover agents for the prosecution or may actually be employed by the prosecution. If the criminal defense investigator’s work for the government, their work may be totally separate from that of the prosecutor. This is very helpful for two reasons. First of all, having an independent investigator working for the government can allow the defendant to retain the services of an investigator who is not associated with either the prosecution or the defense. Often, the government hires private investigators who are former agents of law enforcement or other similar agencies to ensure that their agents perform their duties with professionalism and integrity. Secondly, having an investigator working for the government allows the prosecution and the private investigator to work in close cooperation.
A good way to determine whether a private investigator is working for the government or for the private sector is to ask how many criminal defense investigators are currently employed by the public defender’s office? This question is important because this directly affects the number of criminal defense attorneys the public defenders will be able to hire. A number of private investigators are specifically employed by the public defenders’ offices. This means that many criminal defense attorneys will be able to hire additional criminal defense investigators once the private investigator has been hired.
One of the most well-known and respected criminal defense investigators in the U.S. is Richardperron. Known as a “porn star” due to his extensive work with proving pornography cases, Richardperron served two years in jail after pleading guilty to charges of voyeurism. Before he was allowed to begin serving his time, however, the court ordered Richardperron to undergo investigative training. Richardperron’s attorney, John Van de Ruit, said that Richardperron had not completed the required three-year training, which is required for anyone working in such sensitive positions.
When a federal judge ordered Richardperron to serve the remainder of his time in jail, the legal team decided to do their own investigation into the jailhouse affair. Unbeknownst to Richard, his investigation yielded damaging information about the guards assigned to take care of Richardperron while he was in prison. The prison guards were found to be fondling Richardperron while the star was in jail. Once the scandal became public, the U.S. attorney’s office and the public defender’s office quickly removed Richardperron from the case.
After the scandal broke, many legal advocates across the country called for Richardperron’s firing from his position as an investigator for the public defenders’ office. Some representatives alleged that the position offered to Richardperron by his employers constituted an unfair advantage over other eligible indigent defendants who might also apply for the same position. As a result of the firestorm caused by the scandals surrounding Richardperron, Florida’s state legislature passed a law that bars convicted sex offenders from being employed by the state as public defenders. However, the state did not pass any legislation that prohibits convicted sex offenders from receiving legal representation. An amendment was later passed that makes it so a convicted sex offender can be placed in protective custody once he or she has received representation.
Because there are no specific laws that regulate the hiring of a convicted sex offender or a person accused of a crime, state and federal agencies are left to decide on their own if they will grant a CCDI certification to an individual. If given the opportunity, a person with a CDI designation may use this designation to his or her advantage when seeking state or federal employment. The State of Florida is among the states that require individuals with a CDI designation to complete an eight-hour training class before they can be granted CCDI status. In addition, all duly certified state employees must complete a ten-hour refresher course every two years in order to maintain certification.