County of Alameda

Public Defender Investigator III (#8579)

Bargaining Unit: ACMEA - PD Investigators Mgmt (R48)
$67.15-$80.64 Hourly / $5,372.00-$6,451.20 BiWeekly /
$11,639.33-$13,977.60 Monthly / $139,672.00-$167,731.20 Yearly


Under the general direction of the Chief Investigator, Public Defender Investigator IIIs conduct fact-finding, investigations of criminal cases and perform related work as required.  


This is the journey-level, professional class in the Investigator series.  Public Defender Investigator IIIs conduct fact-finding, investigations of cases ranging from routine misdemeanors to complex felonies and capital homicides.  Work at this level is performed independently, with a minimum of direct supervision.  Public Defender Investigator IIIs may assign cases, and provide coordination and guidance, in the absence of Senior Investigators and/or the Chief Investigator.  Public Defender Investigator IIIs are distinguished from the next lower-level class of Public Defender Investigator II in that incumbents in the former class investigate homicide and capital cases as the primary investigator.


NOTE:   The following are examples of duties performed by employees in this classification.  However, employees may perform other related duties at an equivalent level.  Each individual in the classification does not necessarily perform all duties listed.  

1.  Investigates all stages of cases where persons have been charged with crimes; pursues leads and searches for evidence, witnesses, and information material to the cases.  

2.  Examines and diagrams all necessary measurements at crime scenes.  

3.  Gathers, marks, records, and preserves evidence; determines the importance and relevance of physical evidence in investigations.  

4.  Photographs crime scenes; photographs clients’ injuries for use as evidence in cases; and, prepares photographic lineups for witness review.  

5.  Locates and interviews witnesses; interviews police and other public agencies, doctors, lawyers, and others who may have official or professional information relevant to a legal defense.  

6.  Examines and selects medical and mental health or psychiatric records and determines their applicability in pending cases.     

7.  Reviews police dispatch tapes to determine pertinent and relevant case information; copies dispatch tapes for Public Defenders.  

8.  Searches computer resources, including DMV, CRIMS, CORPUS, CASP, and the Internet to locate witnesses, experts, and professionals, and obtains other case information.  

9.  Compiles information from witness interviews and other record reviews relevant to the defense. Generates written reports upon completion of the fact-finding process; submits written reports to Public Defenders on witnesses’ knowledge of material facts.  

10.  Confers with Public Defenders on case-related matters.  

11.  Prepares demonstrative evidence such as diagrams, charts, photographs, and computer presentations for use in court.  

12.  Testifies in court regarding facts established by investigations.  

13.  Serves subpoenas and legal process for the Public Defender’s Office.  

14.  Makes arrangements or transports witnesses to and from court or to court-ordered programs; arranges travel and lodging needs for out-of-County witnesses; and, attends to appropriate witness fee payment.




One year full-time experience in the class of Public Defender Investigator II in the Alameda County classified service.




Successful completion of 60 semester, or 90 quarter, units from an accredited college or university which included the equivalent of at least 24 semester, or 36 quarter, units  in Criminal Justice, Criminology, Forensics or a closely related field such as Political Science, Sociology, Psychology or Journalism.          




Four years of full-time experience conducting investigations in criminal defense work.   



Possession of a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice, Criminology, Forensics, or a related field such as Political Science, Sociology, Psychology or Journalism from an accredited college or university may be substituted for one year of the required experience in Pattern II.      



Possession of a valid California Motor Vehicle Operator's license is required.      


Special Requirements  

Ability and willingness to work irregular hours as individual investigations demand.  Must be at least 21 years of age.  Ability and willingness to travel out of town, state or country, and stay overnight to complete job assignments.  

 Must provide fingerprints for purposes of search of local, state, and national fingerprint files to disclose any criminal record.  Depending on the nature of the conviction, a criminal record may result in disqualification.    


NOTE:   The Civil Service Commission may modify the above minimum qualifications in the announcement of an examination.  


NOTE:   The level and scope of the following knowledge and abilities are related to duties listed under the “Examples of Duties” section of this specification.  


Knowledge of:

• Interviewing, interrogation and investigative techniques and procedures.
• Practices and methods employed in criminal detection and criminal investigation.
• The elements of criminal offenses under California law.
• Laws of arrest, search and seizure case law, and rules of evidence.
• Laws relating to the service of subpoenas and the treatment of witnesses.
• Skip tracing techniques.
• Criminal procedures relative to felony, misdemeanors, juvenile and jury matters.
• The purposes and organization of the Public Defender's Office.
• Judicial processes relative to felony, misdemeanor, juvenile, and jury matters.
• Modern office practices, and Windows-based computers, including word processing software.
• Techniques employed in diagramming and preparing demonstrative evidence to be presented in court.


Ability to:

• Recognize, collect, gather, and preserve evidence.
• Be objective in fact-finding.
• Evaluate evidence for a particular criminal offense.
• Determine priorities and importance of various types of evidence.
• Relate easily to, and gain the confidence of, many varied personalities.
• Adapt to many different environments.
• Recognize potentially hostile situations.
• Interview effectively and analytically.
• Evaluate the credibility of persons interviewed.
• Keep accurate records.
• Prepare articulate written reports and documents, concise or lengthy, as needed.
• Use laptops and personal computers and word processing software.
• Learn computer programs, databases and access Internet resources.
• Use measuring devices and draw diagrams to scale.
• Use film and digital photographic equipment.
• Prepare demonstrative evidence such as diagrams, charts and photographs for use in court.
• Use computer presentations software.
• Manage time efficiently with frequent interruptions.
• Maintain professionalism and composure under stressful conditions.
• Maintain ethical and harmonious relationships with law enforcement and other governmental agencies.
• Maintain high professional standards and observe ethics of defense investigation.


PB:lh  Revised 11/1974

PB:lh  Revised 12/1976

T:kb  Revised 1/1O/78

TT:mc  Revised 6/3O/8O

BG:tc  Revised 6/25/91

JEC:jmc  Revised 3/99

Old doc:  0807h/1-4

New doc: /-8579.doc


CSC Date:  3/31/99

BG:pf  Revise/Retitle  5/17/05

old title: Investigator I & II

CSC Date:  9/14/2005

CH:cs  Revised 9/22/10

CSC Date:  10/20/10

IC:cs  Revised/Retitled 9/16/16

Old Title: Investigator, Public Defender’s Office

CSC Date: 11/22/16


Alameda County offers a comprehensive and competitive benefits package that affords wide-ranging health care options to meet the different needs of a diverse workforce and their families. We also sponsor many different employee discount, fitness and health screening programs focused on overall well being.  These benefits include but are not limited to*:

For your Health & Well-Being

  • Medical – HMO & PPO Plans
  • Dental – HMO & PPO Plans
  • Vision or Vision Reimbursement
  • Share the Savings
  • Basic Life Insurance 
  • Supplemental Life Insurance (with optional dependent coverage for eligible employees)
  • Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance 
  • County Allowance Credit
  • Flexible Spending Accounts - Health FSA, Dependent Care and Adoption Assistance
  • Short-Term Disability Insurance
  • Long-Term Disability Insurance
  • Voluntary Benefits - Accident Insurance, Critical Illness, Hospital Indemnity and Legal Services
  • Employee Assistance Program

For your Financial Future

  • Retirement Plan - (Defined Benefit Pension Plan)
  • Deferred Compensation Plan (457 Plan or Roth Plan)

For your Work/Life Balance

  • 12 paid holidays
  • Floating Holidays
  • Vacation and sick leave accrual
  • Vacation purchase program
  • Management Paid Leave**
  • Catastrophic Sick Leave
  • Group Auto/Home Insurance
  • Pet Insurance
  • Commuter Benefits Program
  • Guaranteed Ride Home
  • Employee Wellness Program (e.g. At Work Fitness, Incentive Based Programs, Gym Membership Discounts)
  • Employee Discount Program (e.g. theme parks, cell phone, etc.)
  • Child Care Resources
  • 1st United Services Credit Union 

*Eligibility is determined by Alameda County and offerings may vary by collective bargaining agreement.  This provides a brief summary of the benefits offered and can be subject to change.

** Non-exempt management employees are entitled to up to three days of management paid leave. Exempt management employees are entitled to up to seven days of management paid leave.

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