Criminal defence attorneys are highly skilled and diligent in examining evidence and the investigative police reports. For this reason, Private Investigators are usually hired only for the most complex cases when the attorneys and their teams of paralegals do not have enough time, resources, or specific expertise to find, collect, and analyze all the information that they need to build a solid defence strategy for their clients.
When the need arises for specific tasks to be outsourced to a professional, Private Investigators are the best resources for criminal defence attorneys, since they have the experience required to conduct research efficiently, collect evidence legally, review statements and reports for inconsistencies, and identify new leads, witnesses and venues to be explored for a stronger case.
Many criminal defence investigators are former members of law enforcement agencies who are familiar with the investigative methods used by the police detectives and the regulatory, procedural, technological, and administrative limitations that govern and restrict certain actions of the public servants.
Being familiar with those limitations allows Private Investigators to get a better understanding of the strength and weaknesses of the prosecutor’s case and have a good idea of what was done by the police during the investigation. Most importantly, it allows Private Investigators to have an idea of what was not done (or was very unlikely to be done) by the police detectives due to restrictions most law enforcement agencies have to work with; thus being able to concentrate on those gaps and weak spots of their case.
While Private Investigators also have to follow regulations specific to private investigations in their respective areas, and they do not have access to some tools and databases that police officers have; they are not bound by the same restrictions. And thus, they have more time, freedom, and access to other resources that law enforcement can’t efficiently employ due to the limitations in their budgets, regulations, or procedures.
Criminal defense lawyers can do some of the investigative work themselves however, their primary task is to advocate in court, establish a defence strategy, argue, and negotiate plea deals when necessary. Their time is better used to concentrate on the big picture and focus on researching the law, drafting legal documents, preparing witnesses, and conducting hearings; while Private Investigators do the necessary fieldwork and gather the information that the attorneys need to support their case.
Typically, during a criminal defence investigation, Private investigators will:
Information gathered by Private Investigators can strengthen the defence by identifying facts and evidence to support the defendant’s position in a favorable way, and/or by providing sufficient data to create a reasonable doubt that can be enough to have a significant impact on the outcome of the case.