Criminal Defense Investigators, also known as Security Officers, are professional criminal investigators whose main responsibility is to protect people from unlawful activities. These agents investigate crimes in the field and compile reports of their findings. They present their findings at court proceedings and advise criminal lawyers, making sure they have presented all available evidence in the case.
Employment Most private criminal defense investigators work for private law firms or government agencies, performing secretarial services as part of their job duties. Many law firms hire investigators to conduct surveillance and perform secretarial duties. They need to collect evidence and collect testimony, transcribe interviews and fax or mail evidence to the law firm. Often they also provide investigator services to other firms, developing confidential sources, interviewing witnesses, tracking down witnesses, collecting documents and doing background checks. They compile reports and present findings to law enforcement agencies.
Education Prior to becoming a full-fledged criminal defense investigator, one must attend an advanced law enforcement academy to become an enforcement agent. They are trained on how to identify a suspect, observe him in action and follow him around, interviewing witnesses and suspects. They are also taught how to track down and photograph any evidence of a crime and how to use technical surveillance equipment such as spy cameras and GPS trackers to gather evidence of a crime. During training, they learn how to use surveillance equipment and how to interview witnesses to make their statements trustworthy.
Training In order to become a full-fledged private investigator, he must undergo thorough police training and obtain a certification. He is trained to spot potential clues of a crime, making connections with possible suspects, search for latent blood or fingerprint evidence, look for guns at the scene of crime and make follow-up visits to law enforcement offices to conduct interviews of possible witnesses. The goal of this training is to help investigators determine if a crime has been committed and to identify any peculiarities about the circumstances surrounding the incident. Criminal defense investigators are expected to be proficient not only in following leads but also in collecting documents and performing investigations that show negligence by police officers or lack of investigation. These skills are needed in court cases to prove that the victim was attacked due to carelessness on the behalf of law officials.
Expertise Private investigators possess a wide range of expertise, some of which includes computer forensics, fingerprinting, chemical analysis, and other scientific methodologies. They may also work as expert witnesses in criminal cases where police officers or prosecutors cannot provide sufficient information to prove the innocence of a defendant. This may include drug cases, child pornography cases, human trafficking cases concerning missing persons. Private investigators are frequently called upon by law enforcement personnel to determine the validity of surveillance and other operations.
Training To become an effective private investigator, you need to attain a number of formal education and training. A bachelor’s degree is typically required for entry level positions. A master’s degree can help you progress into higher paid and more specialized positions. Depending on your chosen field, certification is also available. In order to become an expert witness in criminal defense investigations, state-approved training and examinations are required.
Expertise A number of states require aspiring private investigators to pass a test covering criminal case law and procedures. These tests cover a wide array of topics including evidence, search techniques, the exclusionary rule, and protocol in a criminal case. In addition, experts in the field must have extensive knowledge regarding state laws and the rules of evidence. Furthermore, expert witnesses in criminal cases may be asked to testify regarding the methods employed by law enforcement investigators in tracing cell phone numbers or tracking location. This testimony is important in establishing a link between the investigator and the suspect in a criminal case.
Expertise In order to become an expert in criminal defense investigators, one must hone their skills using various resources. One of these tools includes interviewing witnesses. Many people who have been accused of committing crimes often refuse to talk with detectives. However, even if they do cooperate, they may provide false information. If you are hiring private investigators to assist you in a case, it is important to make sure they are not violating any laws by not using the appropriate tools for investigating the case. Therefore, they should also not disclose any evidence obtained in investigation in order to not jeopardize the outcome of your case.