Under general direction, plans, organizes, and participates in the activities of one or more investigation units in the Public Defender’s Office engaged in conducting investigations of criminal and/or civil law matters; conducts the most complex, sensitive, and /or difficult criminal cases that have significant legal implications and/or high degree of publicity, acts as a lead worker to Public Defender Investigators I/II and Public Defender Investigator Assistants, and does other work as required.
This class is the advanced journey level investigator and is distinguished from the next lower class of Public Defender Investigator II in that it serves as a lead worker to one or more units of subordinate investigators and carries its own caseload of the most complex and serious cases. This class is distinguished from the next higher class of Chief Public Defender Investigator in that the latter class has department-wide responsibility for investigative services in the Public Defender’s Office. May provide supervision.
· Independently conducts the most complex, sensitive, or unusual criminal investigations that have legal significance or high public exposure.
· Assists attorneys in the preparation and presentation of defense evidence and testimony.
· Confers with attorneys on points of law and procedure.
· Provides assistance and training to other investigators and assistants on investigations.
· Locates and serves subpoenas for court appearances of defense witnesses.
· Reviews work orders, assigns investigators, and confers with attorneys/investigators to develop investigation strategies.
· Accompanies investigators conducting interviews of victims and witnesses involved in sensitive cases.
· Arranges or transports witnesses to and from court or to court-ordered programs.
· Arranges travel and lodging needs for out-of-county witnesses.
· Attends to appropriate witness fee payments.
· Attends attorney staff meetings to coordinate the activities of the investigators and attorneys, provide input as required.
· Locates, obtains, evaluates, and preserves documentary evidence from a variety of sources.
· Establishes and maintains informant contacts to develop information relevant to cases.
· Uses special equipment - sound intercepting and recording devices, photographic equipment, and chemicals.
· Prepares and provides oral and written reports and correspondence regarding investigation performed, contacts made, physical evidence found, which includes statements, scene descriptions, and analysis of physical evidence.
· Reviews investigation reports for content and form.
· Examines and diagrams all necessary measurements at crime scenes.
· Gathers, marks, records, and preserves physical evidence.
· Determines the importance and relevance of the evidence in investigations.
· Conducts surveillance, as necessary.
· Operates and maintains a variety of photographic, tape, graphic, and projection equipment.
· Photographs crime scenes, clients’ injuries for use as evidence in cases, and prepares photographic line-ups for witness review.
· Reviews police dispatch tapes to determine pertinent and relevant case information, copies dispatch tapes for trial, further investigation, and/or experts.
· May conduct administrative investigations of subordinate investigators and other staff.
· Searches computer resources.
· May testify in court regarding facts established by investigations or as an expert investigative witness.
· Performs related work as required.
Thorough knowledge of:
· Principles, methods, and techniques of criminal investigations, including gathering, preserving, and presenting evidence, basic identification techniques, and methods of operation.
· Relevant sections of the California Penal Code and the general concepts of criminal law.
· Laboratory procedures, methods, and uses of scientific investigative equipment and analysis incident to the investigation of crimes.
· Investigative methods applied in the penalty phase of capital offense cases.
· Criminal law, including the laws of arrest, search and seizure, subpoena service, rules of evidence, rules and regulations regarding juveniles, laws, regulations, and procedures regarding conservatorship, custody, and mental health proceedings, and courtroom procedures in felony, misdemeanor, and juvenile court or jury trial matters.
· Basic psychological principles, interviewing techniques, and interrogating witnesses of varied socio-economic and cultural backgrounds, and mentally deficient clients.
· Current technology and trends in the profession.
· Telephone, office, and online etiquette.
· Location of and means to obtain information, evidence, records, and reports, including the use of skip tracing techniques.
· Techniques employed in diagramming and making demonstrative evidence to be presented in court.
· Mental defenses to a crime such as diminished capacity and legal insanity.
· Gather, assemble, analyze, and evaluate facts and evidence to draw logical conclusions and to formulate sound recommendations.
· Be objective in fact finding.
· Determine priorities and importance of various types of evidence.
· Effectively communicate in oral and written form by preparing, reviewing, and evaluating comprehensive reports on investigations.
· Obtain information through interviews.
· Work effectively without direct supervision.
· Communicate clearly, concisely, calmly, respectfully, effectively, and diplomatically in dealing with clients, management, other employees, subordinates, professionals from other agencies, and the public from diverse cultures and backgrounds.
· Maintain effective audio-visual discrimination and perception needed for making observations, communicating with others, and reading and writing.
· Exercise good judgment and tact in dealing with sensitive cases.
· Develop demonstrative evidence for use in court, such as diagrams, charts, and photographs.
· Testify in court in a direct, clear, and concise manner.
· Read and comprehend legal material.
· Recognize potentially hostile situations and adapt to many different environments.
· Provide prompt, efficient, and responsive service to management, the attorneys, and/or the clients.
· Exercise appropriate judgment in answering questions and releasing information.
· Analyze and project consequences of decisions and/or recommendations.
· Establish and maintain effective working relationships with employees, other criminal justice agencies, courts, and the public.
· Use film and digital photographic equipment; use measuring devices.
· Operate various scientific investigation equipment.
Education and Experience:
Any combination of education and experience which would provide the re quired knowledge and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be:
Two years of college course work in accounting, criminal justice, system analysis or related field. AND One year of experience performing duties comparable to the Santa Cruz County Public Defender Investigator II class that included investigation of difficult and sensitive felony and misdemeanor cases referred to the Public Defender’s Office.
Two years of college course work in accounting, criminal justice, system analysis or related field. AND five years of experience in law enforcement or investigative work that included the investigation of suspected criminal activities.
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 Conditions: Possibility 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.
PREVIOUS CLASS TITLES: None
Bargaining Unit: 41
EEOC Job Category: 04
Occupational Grouping: 62
Workers Comp Code: 1073