The Investigators Who Prosecute
Criminal Defense Investigators is usually independent practitioners who gather evidence and information for your defense. While the prosecution typically has several investigators (i.e. police officers, prosecutors, and detective detectives) on staff, many defendants betrays or cooperate with the prosecution by sparing their own attorneys crucial evidence or information. This often results in a lesser sentence or probation, although in some cases the charges are dropped altogether. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you avoid these consequences and restore your reputation and trust in the legal system.
In the course of conducting an investigative procedure for a criminal defense case, criminal defense investigators frequently become co-defendants with the very persons they are investigating. Often this occurs when law enforcement personnel become aware that a witness may be willing to say something different than what the prosecutor wants the witness to say. Although the prosecutor has the right to edit or delete any testimony, he or she has no right to change the nature of that testimony in the courtroom. The person who changes their story or withholds evidence is called a co-defendant. Criminal defense investigators must follow their ethical obligations to remain completely honest with their clients and never take part in any activities that would damage either their client’s or law enforcement personnel’s reputations.
Sometimes criminal defense investigators become indirectly involved in the actual investigation. One such example involves a witness who tells the investigator he or she will contact a specific individual or relay certain information after speaking with that person. If that person fails to provide the information or fail to act as promised, the investigator then calls that person on behalf of the prosecution. The witness ultimately acts as a private investigator on behalf of the government by gathering evidence against the targeted individual and providing that evidence to the prosecutor. While this example is technically an improper act, it happens frequently in the criminal justice system and sometimes defendants choose to violate the law in order to obtain evidence against a co-defendant.
Another example includes an undercover agent. Most people have seen undercover agents performing various tasks such as posing as a store clerk to acquire information from shoplifters or motorcyclists. These agents actually play a significant role in assisting law enforcement personnel to arrest these criminals. However, not all undercover agents are prosecuted. In many instances, undercover agents are allowed to testify on behalf of the government and provide key testimony in criminal cases even if they are not really working for the government.
A third example involves crimes that are committed in the state but executed or investigated in another jurisdiction. In these instances, criminal defense investigators may be called upon to provide witness testimony regarding the jurisdiction in which the crime was committed. Additionally, they are often asked to conduct a thorough investigation of the jurisdiction in which the case will be tried. This type of testimony generally requires an extensive amount of time, resources and expertise.
Sometimes criminal defense investigators are asked to determine if there is sufficient evidence to file charges or present a defense of a client. In these instances, they must perform an investigative study that is outside of their normal area of expertise. These types of investigations include interviewing witnesses and investigating the scene of the crime in order to collect data and testimony. They will also interview prosecution witnesses in order to gather intelligence that will be used at trial. The goal is to build a strong case by obtaining the most accurate and comprehensive investigation possible.
In addition to interviewing witnesses and collecting intelligence, criminal defense investigators will also need to perform paralegals in order to compile their reports. Paralegals are individuals that are hired by the prosecution to write reports based on their findings. These detailed reports are critical for both the defense and the prosecution. The prosecution’s aim is to show that they have done their best in the case; the defense wants to show that they only present the most thorough version of the facts in the case. While private investigators will not have access to the secret world of the law enforcement investigators, they do possess many of the same tools that the agents use.
Private investigators also perform investigations that are broader than those handled by agents of the government. For example, a private investigator may find inconsistencies between witness statements and the physical evidence recovered from a crime scene. While the government agents may rely on surveillance techniques and search methods that are commonly employed by law enforcement officers, private investigators employ a more comprehensive investigative technique known as a thorough investigation. This method requires the investigator to follow a lead from the very beginning in order to provide accurate and timely testimony at trial.