Law enforcement investigators assist the prosecution by uncovering the facts needed to present a criminal case. Criminal defense investigators are private investigators who work for defense attorneys. A defense attorney is your advocate in the courtroom. The role of the criminal defense investigator is to uncover the facts your attorney needs for a thorough defense. A defense investigator can review the prosecution’s evidence, re-interview witnesses to the case, and uncover new witnesses and facts that can show a defendant to be innocent of the criminal charges. A criminal defense investigator is a vitally important ally for any person charged with a serious crime in a California Criminal Case.
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What is the Role of the Criminal Defense Investigator?
In a criminal case, there’s the prosecution’s version and then there is the truth. When fighting criminal charges, the role of the criminal defense investigator is to uncover evidence that shows “the other side of the story.” Initially, the only evidence presented to the court is evidence submitted by the prosecution.
A criminal defense investigator can collect evidence that the prosecution team either missed or may not have been included in the prosecution’s case. A criminal defense investigator can also discover new evidence that was not apparent to the state’s investigators during the original investigation.
Inconsistencies in the prosecution’s case becomes important evidence for the defense team. A defense investigator can also testify in court as to the actions they took throughout their investigation, just like law enforcement investigators. In many cases, new evidence discovered by a private investigator can make the difference in getting charges dismissed or reduced or can help gain an acquittal in court.
Activities Conducted by Criminal Defense Investigators
- Review police reports and law enforcement investigations
- Validate law enforcement procedures
- Listen to 911 audio recordings
- Examine video and photographs
- Identify and interview new witnesses
- Run background checks on prosecution witnesses
- Revisit the crime scene
Many times, defendants don’t have the means to pay for a private investigator or they simply do not know that they can hire a private investigator to find new evidence on their behalf. A private investigator may seem like an expensive additional cost during a criminal defense. In the long run, however, a defendant will save significant time and money by building a solid defense case. Imagine the difference between presenting critical evidence during the initial trial or trying to present the same evidence in an appeals case years later after a conviction. The odds are in the defendant’s favor when a criminal defense investigator begins working on the case as soon as possible.
Advantages of Hiring a Private Investigator for Criminal Defense
Private investigators whose focus is criminal defense are an invaluable asset to any criminal defense attorney. Using their knowledge of criminal law, a good defense investigator can analyze a case and take the time to focus on the details of the case. They can help to build a successful defense by providing unique perspectives on the case facts and can develop alternate theories of the crime.
An attorney is trained in conducting research, organizing the facts, and presenting logical arguments in court. While most are excellent at their job, a criminal defense investigator is trained to go out into the field, interview witnesses, and follow investigative leads. Think of how an investigation works on the prosecution’s side. Law enforcement investigators collect all the information needed to present the prosecutor’s case in court. Similarly, a defense investigator will collect all the evidence needed for a defense attorney to show their client is innocent of the charges.
Attorney’s also charge much more per hour than private investigators. It more cost efficient for the client to have an attorney building the defense case and to have an investigator chasing down witnesses and leads. Many defense investigators are also themselves former law enforcement, with extensive training and contacts in the law enforcement community.
One of the most important roles of the criminal defense investigator is to be a witness on behalf of the defense. The defense investigator can be called to testify as to all the findings of his or her investigation – witness interviews, newfound evidence, problems identified with the prosecution’s case. It would be highly impractical for the defense attorney to take the stand as a witness and undergo cross examination by the prosecution. While the prosecutor can call law enforcement investigators to tell why the think a defendant is guilty, the criminal defense investigator can be called to testify about the evidenced to show the defendant is not guilty. This can be a powerful way for the defense to counter the prosecutor’s arguments.
H7 Investigative Services conducts private investigations in Santa Clarita, Antelope Valley, and throughout the greater Los Angeles area.
If you want to find out how our agency can help with your case, click through to our consultation request page or call us at (661)454-7513.