How Criminal Defense Investigators Can Protect Your Rights and Locate False Suspects
Criminal Defense Investigators are sworn officers who collect evidence and information for the defense in any criminal case. While the prosecution often has several investigators (e.g., detectives, police officers, and prosecutor detectives) on hand, many defendants simply gamble without even hiring one. Why is this? Often, the defendant feels that he or she will not face jail time, and thus he or she decides to plead guilty and enter into a plea bargain. In exchange for pleading guilty to the charges against him or her, the government prosecutors drop additional charges or charge a more severe penalty.
Often, criminal defense investigators seek out various forms of evidence in order to build their cases. Sometimes, they interview potential witnesses. They may review surveillance videotape or lie detector reports. They may interview jail inmates who have information relevant to the case, or perhaps a hit man or female inmate who may be able to provide crucial testimony.
Sometimes, criminal defense investigators are called upon by prosecutors to visit jail cells and visit rooms in which inmate witnesses are housed. In some instances, they are asked to interview guards who may have knowledge of the inmates’ activities. Criminal defense attorneys and other attorneys often use this testimony as ammunition in court. Jailhouse snitch testimony can often be devastating.
In other instances, criminal defense investigators make phone calls to jail cells or to the offices of the state’s attorney. They may even interview jail officials, visit the jail itself, and interview personnel who can testify at trial. Some investigators specialize in locating and interviewing jail inmates, while others conduct interviews of witnesses, jail officials, or jail inmates themselves. Many criminal defense attorneys feel that these interviews are very important, especially if they contradict the testimony provided by the prosecution. This testimony is critically important, they believe, in getting their client’s case dismissed or for a mistrial.
Private investigators are skilled liars and deceivers. If you want to hire one, you need to do thorough research and carefully vet any private investigators that you may be considering hiring. Any reputable and trustworthy private investigator will be happy to provide you with information that you can vet for accuracy. Often, it takes several months before criminal defense investigators can compile their reports for you. You should always look at your investigator’s credentials and track record before you sign any type of agreement with them.
Another concern is whether your investigator has a reputation for being a honest and ethical investigator. There are some very reputable firms that are nationally recognized private investigators. Their reports can give you the insight you need to make an informed decision about whether or not to retain them as your attorney.
When you hire criminal defense investigators, make sure that they have the time and manpower to conduct the investigation that you require. Be sure that you have complete trust in the firm and that they are well within your budget and will provide all of the services that you require, at a price that you can afford. You may want to check with any friends or relatives that have used a private investigator and ask what their experience has been like. Also, be sure that you find someone that does not charge by the hour. You do not need your investigator to be burning holes in your pocket.
The cost is only one consideration. Make sure that you thoroughly vet any private investigators that you are interested in using. If you can find a person or company that consistently produces excellent investigative work, you should definitely use them. Otherwise, you may find yourself trying to hire another investigator after your initial investigation proves fruitless. With so many cases to investigate, you need an investigator that will stay on task and will produce results quickly. If you research your attorneys, you will be more likely to get the results that you need.