The criminal investigator job description is often confused with the popular crime scene investigators. We have a hit TV series responsible for that. Crime scene investigator’s job is different in the sense that they are the ones responsible in examining crime scenes for physical evidence. This evidence is then evaluated if it can link the suspects to the crime scene. On the other hand, criminal investigators been given the responsibility in intensively probing criminal cases in the hopes of solving them. They gather sufficient proof to prosecute suspects with the help of either physical evidence, eyewitness and other possible sources.
Criminal investigators are considered as a part of law enforcement officers, and they engage in dangerous and challenging jobs. Some are working on the criminal law cases such as robbery, burglary, murder, assault, domestic violence, stalking, arson, fraud, terrorism and narcotics to name a few. While some of these criminal investigators chose to work on violations that pertain to postal tax, environmental, social security and civil rights.
Most criminal investigators can work on law enforcement establishments such as campus police departments, airport police departments, city police department, sheriff’s office, tribal police department, attorney general’s office and state police departments. They have also the option of working in a federal level such as Federal Bureau of Investigation, Immigration and Customs, Internal revenue service, Drug Enforcement Administration, Environmental Protection Agency and Social Security Administration. Some have even been hired to work in federal, state and local natural resources and wildlife conservation agencies.
Criminal Investigators may be involved in many different work environments, but their investigation process is fairly similar. Obviously, each case starts with a development of a plan on how an investigation is to be made. Followed by actual information gathering. Examination on physical evidence and facts is crucial. Another source of information that must be examined are the witnesses, suspects or other information that may help solve the case. Written reports are also carefully examined such as crime lab report, medical examiner report, police report and other relevant files, records and reports.
After a thorough collection of data from relevant information and evidence, analyzing this information comes next. This analyzing process will help the investigator develop their cases. Information verification is also crucial to ensure that the data gathered is correct and accurate. Some cases demand surveillance, and criminal investigators have the option of doing that. Criminal investigators have also the ability to request for a search warrant. The ability to search for a specific item on a property is a great help when it comes to solving cases.
When investigators arrive at a conclusion with sufficient evidence for a good trail. They can request for the suspect to be arrested, or they can arrest the suspects themselves. Then Criminal Investigators work together with the attorney in preparing the case for the upcoming court trials. During the court trials, Criminal Investigators may be asked to provide statements and testimony regarding the current case.
Maintaining files on all of the their cases are important to be successful. These written report files should be detailed and accurate as much as possible. These findings may present itself in the court trials as evidence.
Because of the possible dangers, it is part of the job description to use and carry firearms during the times of duty. Cases assigned to them are either handled alone or with a partner. Most cases would require criminal investigators to work with together with other branches of law enforcements. The time for a case to be solved varies from weeks to years, and on some cases it can be considered as unsolved. Criminal Investigator’s working hours are also challenging. Most would work 40 hours per week, and work may demand a little more. It may even demand time, whether its holidays or weekends. Though criminal investigators still pretty much follow rotating shifts, yet they are considered on call for 24 hours.
In order to become a criminal investigator, it is essential that you earn the proper education. You can find programs with both traditional brick and mortar colleges and online colleges.