Both public defenders and private defense attorneys use
investigators. But what, exactly, are defense investigators?
Investigators are independent professionals who gather
information and evidence about cases. The prosecution is stacked with “investigators,”
from police officers to investigators specifically employed by the prosecution.
Most defendants, on the other hand, are lucky if they can afford even one
Investigators are sometimes former members of law
enforcement and sometimes people with legal training. Or they may come from an
entirely different background. They’re charged with many tasks, including
public (and sometimes private) record searches, locating and interviewing
witnesses, and preparing reports. While defense attorneys can and sometimes do
handle some of these tasks, they often have neither the time nor expertise of
investigators. A good investigator isn’t simply a good locator of information,
but also someone who excels at creating a rapport with others and getting them
to open up.
by: Micah Schwartzbach