Private investigators are critical components of your criminal defense team. While the attorneys focus on constructing a case and adhering to court deadlines, a private investigator can dedicate themselves to acquiring crucial evidence to support the accused. This is especially important considering the consequences of criminal cases.
Civil cases are not the sort of thing that anyone looks forward to, but they are hardly comparable to a criminal case. Because civil cases are used to settle private disputes, where the accusations involve claims of personal injury or damages, they often come with very different consequences than criminal cases. The purpose of a civil case is to prove that one individual or organization behaved unlawfully towards another and, generally, are resolved with some form of financial transaction. In a criminal case, the accused is determined to be acting in a way that is harmful to society as a whole. They are charged by the representatives of the government instead of another private party. Depending on the case, consequences can range from hefty fines to extensive jail time.
Law enforcement officials are highly motivated to identify and charge anyone they suspect of being a criminal. However, innocent individuals do get caught in the system. The bias towards a convenient narrative painting the accused as nothing more than a criminal can exclude crucial pieces of evidence that might prove their innocence. That’s why criminal defense firms rely on experienced private investigators to provide a more accurate representation of the incident, granting them the evidence necessary to exonerate their clients.
Quality investigators are in possession of a diverse set of skills that enable them to get the information they need in a timely fashion. Not only are they well versed in the various possible sources at their disposal, including databases, social media profiles, public records, and more, they can also easily identify what’s relevant and what’s not. Given enough time, any individual could step into a crime scene and provide a detailed list of every single element present, from the candy wrapper on the floor to the fraying thread on the side of the couch. A private investigator has the experience necessary to identify which pieces of information can actually alter the course of the court case.
It might seem redundant or even wasteful for a private investigator to spend their time combing over a crime scene that has already been examined and documented by the police. However, when collecting evidence, there is often an unconscious bias to support the narrative of the prosecution. This means focusing solely on the elements that corroborate said narrative and overlooking anything that doesn’t fit, deeming it irrelevant or unimportant. While they may not always have direct access to the scene, investigators have their own methods of research
, including intense scrutinization of police reports and crime scene photographs, keeping an eye out for any detail that might have been missed.
During the process, investigators will sometimes uncover inconsistencies as well. Even minor details can prove critical further down the line, but it takes a well-trained eye to catch them. That’s why it’s important to work with professional private investigators who can spot even the smallest peculiarity in the evidence.
In addition to reexamining crime scenes, private investigators will also do the legwork necessary to gather bystander footage and eyewitness testimonies, along with reviewing existing witness statements. Given that eyewitness testimony is not the most reliable form of evidence, law enforcement officials often overlook it. Despite this, the testimony could provide additional leads for the investigator to follow. If there were several witnesses at the scene, the investigator could also present multiple perspectives on the issue, providing a more reliable picture.
Depending on the charges, criminal cases can have very serious consequences. Having a private attorney on your team can be the difference between going home with a story to tell or going to jail in handcuffs. Those found guilty could spend years in jail, costing them their job, putting strain on their relationships, and ultimately causing them to lose contact with their family. If your client is innocent, hiring a private investigator is the most effective way to ensure their freedom is protected.
In some cases, the situation is much more complicated. It’s possible that the client may not be entirely innocent of all charges. However, in those situations, a private investigator can still prove instrumental. The investigator can provide you the evidence you need to accurately represent the individual’s character, illustrating the circumstances that lead them to the present situation. They will be able to identify and track down trustworthy, well-respected members of society to serve as character witnesses. These people come in the form of previous co-workers, employers, landlords, friends, and teammates, among others. With the appropriate testimony and documentation to support your claims, the punishment can be successfully mitigated, giving your client a chance at a successful future.
Our team of investigators has accumulated decades of knowledge working in the field and developing their skills. In addition to their experience as investigators, they have also previously worked for law enforcement and intelligence agencies. This makes them extremely familiar with local legal procedures, allowing them to identify the most relevant information sources in a timely manner. In addition to assisting with evidence collection for court cases, our team also handles comprehensive background checks. This gives attorneys an advantage when it comes to catching any personal information the prosecution might attempt to use, as well as providing details that will corroborate the integrity of your client’s character, should that be in question.
If you’re ready to add a skilled, professional private investigator to your criminal defense team, we’re here to help. For a free consultation, simply fill out our online form or contact us by calling (213) 342-1767.