Criminal Defense Investigators and the Evidence they Collect
What exactly do criminal defense investigators do? They conduct investigations of crimes against society. Criminal defense lawyers are attorneys who fight cases involving criminal offenses like felonies and misdemeanors. The most common types of cases these lawyers prosecute are robberies, assaults, murders, and homicide. These cases result in many arrests, sometimes hundreds at a time. A criminal defense investigator conducts an investigation of any case to gather evidence, interview witnesses and suspects, and to build a case against the defendant.
The primary purpose of a criminal defense lawyer is to legally represent their client and ensure they get a fair trial. Their investigators investigate all aspects of the crime, searching for hidden facts that can be supportive for the defense. It can be very time consuming to investigate a crime, but it is essential to getting a fair trial and innocent verdict.
Often criminal defense investigators find themselves the prime suspect in a crime. This often occurs when law enforcement personnel do not have enough evidence to arrest or prosecute a person. Sometimes they are called to evaluate a crime scene or obtain information from a suspect who is in custody. Detectives and police officers investigate crimes personally, often casing the area where the crime occurred. However, in cases where law enforcement personnel cannot collect enough evidence to prosecute a case, criminal defense investigators may be called in.
In order to become a investigator, a degree in a related field is necessary. Detective work involves finding, tracking, and interpreting evidence. Investigators are also needed by the prosecution, which is where their skills and experience come in. Federal and state enforcement agencies need reliable evidence to put to jail people who are suspects in crimes. Prosecution is extremely expensive, so it is crucial to have solid evidence to present in court.
A private investigator can work for the defense or the prosecution. There are many private investigators in the nation, many of them former military. The Department of Defense appoints the first attorney lawyers to court-martial, while the FBI recruits retired agents as special agents. Private investigators may also work for the CIA and IRS, though their job titles are never classified as “classified” secrets. This is because both federal and state law enforcement agencies rely on the testimony of private defense investigators to prove their case in court.
Private investigators are usually paid on a contingency basis, which means that they get a certain percentage of any successful case. They are paid to collect evidence, interview witnesses, and advise the law enforcement officials who will present their findings to the courts. Attorneys and government regulators sometimes prefer that criminal defense investigators receive partial payments upfront, though some would prefer their fees be paid up front. Some private investigators choose not to take a fee based payment structure, instead relying on the performance of their case for money. Attorneys and government regulators will sometimes request partial payments from private investigators before the start of any criminal case.
Private criminal defense investigators make use of a wide range of methods to investigate crimes, including the use of video footage, surveillance cameras, search engines, and handwriting analysis. The investigator gathers information through many sources and is careful to document all necessary procedures. This documentation helps the police report a crime scene and turn it into the final report, which can be used as evidence at trial or in plea negotiations.
Criminal defense investigators are an essential component of the nationwide network of crime scene investigators. They work closely with local law enforcement agencies, and provide investigative support to prosecutors, defense attorneys, and the victims of crime. These investigators not only gather evidence, but often provide other crucial services to their clients.