A criminal defense investigator must not only have specialized skills in the field but must also possess the ability to draft professional and accurate reports. Investigation reports assist defense counsel with understanding what happened leading up to the alleged crime(s), what happened during the incident(s) and what followed, all of which are critical for formulating a sound defense strategy. A clear and complete report that includes a narrative for each witness can be of great assistance to defense counsel, and to the investigator when recalling specific evidence if he or she has to testify in court. The defense investigator must maintain an objective and unbiased demeanor and a professional appearance while testifying in court. Once again, the emotional impact of the investigation must not adversely impact the value of the defense investigator’s testimony.
The criminal defense investigator profession is unique in that it requires an open-minded, creative and resourceful personality to be successful in the field. It’s difficult for many people to remember that the accused is innocent until proven guilty, and that it is of utmost importance to remain objective and unbiased as evidence is discovered through the duration of an investigation. The investigator’s objective is to uncover evidence that supports the defense of the accused, including examining the prosecution’s case and exposing weaknesses when found.
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