What does an investigative criminal defense attorney do? Investigators that work for criminal defense firms collect evidence for criminal defense lawyers to utilize in court. They are also responsible for filling many of a lawyer’s investigative and research needs. They investigate crime, and present opposing viewpoints on all issues that come up in a case. They analyze documents and surveillance tapes, speak with witnesses and help to construct an aggressive defense case.
There are two main types of investigators/detectives in the legal field. One is a detective who works independently; the other is employed by a law enforcement agency. In either case, they will perform their duties in the line of duty. However, the primary difference between the two types of detectives is that the one working for the defense is paid for his or her time while the one working for the police department is paid for the entire duration of an investigation. Therefore, it would appear that the investigator paid for by the defense would have more objectivity than the one paid for by the police department.
Investigators must collect evidence that is relevant to a motion hearing involving the guilt or innocence of a defendant. They must gather physical evidence such as hair, fibers, saliva, blood or any other type of DNA evidence. They must also consult with witnesses such as victim, suspects or any other co-defendants. This means that they must cross examine any exculpatory statements or otherwise inconsistencies in the evidence. Additionally, they must make sure that any suspect’s weapons are legally owned at the time of the interview. All of this evidence will be used to either prove or disprove the guilt of a defendant.
The investigator does not inform a defense attorney of any information regarding the case. However, if the attorney calls the investigator as a witness at a court hearing, the investigator may advise the client about any inconsistencies in the evidence or other issues that may affect the outcome of the trial. In addition, the investigator can advise the attorney about potential plea bargain offers. Such a deal may be offered if the defendant doesn’t contest the charges. However, the attorney cannot obtain any information from the defendant or co-defendant regarding a plea bargain unless the prosecutor allows them to do so.
Investigators are thoroughly vetted by their current employers before they are allowed to investigate another client. They should be trustworthy, responsible and honest. This is what is needed to ensure the integrity of a thorough investigation. Employing such professionals ensures that a strong defense can be built for clients facing serious criminal charges.
It is important that police reports and witness testimony are accurate. In most instances, private investigators to check with the police to obtain the police report. If there are no police reports or witness testimony to back up the claims of a criminal defense investigator, then a private investigator will not use them. The results of their thorough investigation can determine whether or not a case should proceed.
Private detectives are often called in to defend a person who has been accused of committing a crime. Most attorneys will not hire criminal case assistants (PCAs) unless they have handled many cases. There are many investigators who specialize in only one area of criminal law. These experts often have years of experience and can advise their clients effectively.
Police detectives and court reporters are not licensing to evaluate or test Forensic witnesses. A good criminal defense investigator understands that examining the police report and police testimony is not enough. It is necessary to assess the quality of expert witness testimony. In most cases, there will be more than one expert to provide a meaningful opinion concerning a case.