Hiring an investigator may be the most important thing you do in defense of your criminal charges.
Retaining a good criminal defense investigator ensures that your defense team can hit the ground running.
Most people who get charged with a crime have enough common sense to hire an attorney. However, not many people think about hiring a private investigator. Truth is, a criminal defense investigator may be just as, if not more, important than the attorney.
While the attorney can present evidence and witnesses to the court, an investigator can locate and interview witnesses, gather other evidence that is necessary to defend a case, and write legally required reports. For various legal reasons, your attorney cannot take on this role.
An investigator can
Find new witnesses that the police have not interviewed.
Conduct an independent interview of witnesses who have been contacted by the police. These separate interviews may uncover new information or contradict crucial information contained in the police reports.
Locate exonerating documents and other evidence the prosecutor has not found prior.
Gather mitigating evidence that helps reduce the sentence for the defendant.
Assist in subpoenaing witnesses and escorting them to court to ensure a full and fair defense at trial.
Help with trial preparation.
Hiring an investigator is safe. Information gathered by an investigator hired by your defense attorney falls under the discretion of Attorney Work Product Privilege. If the information is not helpful to your case, it won’t be disclosed to the prosecution or the court.
You Might Not Have to Pay For It
If a client cannot afford a criminal defense investigator, I often can complete an application for the county to pay for one. When an investigation is necessary to ensure a full and fair defense and a defendant cannot afford the upfront costs, the court can order the county to pay the cost of the investigator.