Apply as a Transfer/Demotion applicant

$28.50-$36.02 hourly / $4,940.00-$6,243.00 monthly / $59,280.00-$74,921.60 yearly


Under close supervision this classification will use investigative methods and techniques employed by the Public Defender's Office during investigations of criminal cases including conducting routine investigations, serving subpoenas, and related work as required.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Positions in this classification are assigned to the Public Defender’s Office to support Public Defender Investigators and Attorneys or other staff in defense of clients, or related efforts. This classification is responsible for conducting routine investigations under close supervision. As experience is gained incumbents receive increasingly difficult and varied investigative assignments. Depending on the investigation, the duties may entail long hours at odd times of the day or night. This class is distinguished from other investigative classes by the limited scope of responsibility, additional required supervision, and/or the limited variety and complexity of casework.

Typical Tasks

  • Confer with the deputy public defenders to ascertain information needed for the defense of a criminal case and reports back to the deputy with all information collected.
  • Investigate misdemeanor, juvenile and some routine felony criminal cases by phone and in the field.
  • Gather and compile information needed by investigators, attorneys, and others in support of legal cases.
  • Contact employers, credit agencies and other parties to secure and verify information.
  • Keep records, prepare correspondence and written reports of investigation findings.
  • Locate and interview witnesses and collect other information to support the defense of persons represented by the Public Defender.
  • Photograph and diagram crime scenes.
  • Transport evidence or other materials as needed from local hospitals, laboratories, police agencies, courts, or other agencies.
  • Take accurate notes during interviews and converts them into reports at the direction of attorney staff.
  • Assist investigators and attorneys in a variety of other case development and trial preparation activities.
  • Prepare and serve subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum.
  • Deliver legal documentation.
  • Deposit and retrieve files from warehouse.
  • Testify in court as required.
  • May perform or assist in court coordination duties.
  • Assist with distribution of materials and documents within the Public Defender’s Office.

Employment Standards

Working knowledge of:

  • Procedures used in gathering and compiling information.
  • Office procedures and practices.
  • Preparation of correspondence and reports.
  • Filing and record keeping systems.
  • Interviewing principles and techniques.
  • Telephone, office, and online etiquette.

Some knowledge of:

Ability to:

  • Interact and communicate well with persons of diverse ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds, and with persons from all sectors of the criminal justice system, including hostile and reluctant witnesses, complaining witnesses, expert witnesses, law enforcement officials, and families of victims.
  • Accurately obtain information and conduct interviews to support the defense of persons represented by the Public Defender.
  • Serve legal documents.
  • Learn to conduct effective office and field investigations.
  • Learn and apply investigative principles and techniques.
  • Prepare factual reports in both written and oral formats.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with the public and staff.
  • Obtain information through interview and observation.
  • Maintain accurate records and filing systems.
  • Learn and apply procedures of searching for and obtaining copies of public or private records.
  • Learn and apply procedures and principles of testifying in court.
  • Remain calm in difficult situations
  • Take photographs.
  • Explain procedural information.
  • Understand and carry out verbal and/or written instructions.
  • Perform responsible bookkeeping and financial record keeping work requiring judgment and arithmetic calculations.
  • Safely lift and move heavy or bulky objects such as evidence, property or office equipment weighing up to 60 pounds.
  • Work in a difficult environment.


Training and Experience:

Any combination of training and experience which would provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to obtain these knowledge and abilities would be:

Successful completion of at least 60 semester or 90 quarter units from an accredited college or university with a major or units in Journalism, Social Science or Behavioral Science, Administration of Justice, Criminology, or a closely related field.


Special Requirements/Conditions:

License/Certificate Requirement: Possession of a valid California Class C Driver’s License.


Background Investigation: At a minimum, this process will include fingerprinting and is subject to additional background standards established by appointing authority.


Special Working ConditionsPossibility of exposure to bodily injury, heights (such as roofs of buildings), areas containing free silica or asbestos dust, toxic fumes, offensive odors, explosives, electrical hazards, infections which may cause chronic disease or death, and hostile and/or combative persons.


Other Special Requirements: Availability to work a flexible schedule, including evenings, weekends, holidays and on an emergency, as needed basis.




Bargaining Unit: 41
EEOC Job Category: 04
Occupational Grouping: 62
Worker's Comp Code: 1073

CLASS: DJ5; EST: 8/25/2021;