Public Defender Investigator I (#RL3031)
$37.48-$45.56 Hourly / $6,497.01-$7,897.15 Monthly / $77,964.15-$94,765.91 Yearly


Under general supervision, performs responsible investigative work in civil and criminal matters referred to the Public Defender’s Office; and does related or other work as required in accordance with Rule 3, Section 3 of the Civil Service Rules.


This is the journey level class in the Public Defender Investigator series.  Incumbents of this class perform the full range of investigative duties, and exercise considerable judgment and independent action within department policies and legal requirements.  This class differs from Public Defender Investigator II in that the latter is responsible for investigating the more complex felony cases and is further distinguished from Public Defender Investigator Assistant in that incumbents of the latter class interview witnesses and assist Public Defender Investigator I’s in field investigation but do not independently perform complex investigation tasks.


  • Investigates civil and criminal cases involving clients; interviews or interrogates clients, witnesses, law enforcement officers, and other persons who may provide pertinent information, and evaluates information received. 
  • Determines financial responsibility and eligibility of court-appointed clients for Public Defender services.
  • Secures written statements, depositions and other pertinent case material; examines various records and documents to secure information concerning alleged crimes or civil wrongs.
  • Visits scenes of alleged crimes to ascertain and evaluate physical, material, and environmental factors relevant to case investigations; secures evidence; takes photos and makes videotapes and recordings as required.
  • Presents findings and evaluations to the Chief Public Defender Investigator, Public Defender or appointees; appears in court as required; dictates and writes reports and correspondence.
  • Maintains liaison between Public Defender’s Office and clients, and other governmental agencies.
  • Investigates cases referred to Public Defender by the Juvenile Court involving delinquent, dependent, and neglected children and obtains information regarding home conditions such as family composition, personality of parents, and family finances; investigates conservatorship and guardianship cases.
  • Serves subpoenas, summonses, and other legal documents.


Experience:  Two years of full-time equivalent experience as a Public Defender Investigator Assistant in San Joaquin County service.

Experience:  Three years of experience in a criminal justice agency, including two years in an investigative capacity at a level equivalent to San Joaquin County’s Public Defender Investigator Assistant. Qualifying investigative experience includes investigation in police or sheriff’s department, public defender’s office, district attorney’s office, probation department, welfare fraud unit, or private investigation.

License:  Possession of a valid California driver's license.


Investigation techniques and procedures: rules of evidence, legal basis for complaints, and court procedures: applicable state, federal, and local codes, laws and ordinances, including State Narcotic laws, Penal Code, Health and Safety Code, Probate Code and Welfare and Institutions Code.


Gather and evaluate facts and evidence; draw logical conclusions and take appropriate action; secure necessary information through interviews and interrogations; interact and communicate well with persons of diverse ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds, and with persons from all sectors of the criminal justice system; act as witness in legal proceedings; work effectively with others.


Mobility --Frequent operation of keyboards, sitting for extended periods, standing for long periods, walking, driving and climbing stairs; occasional pushing/pulling, bending/squatting, climbing stairs or other objects and crawling; Lifting –frequently 5 pounds or less; occasionally 5 – 30 pounds; Vision – Good overall vision; frequent reading and close-up work, hand and eye coordination, color/depth perception; Dexterity –normal dexterity with frequent writing, holding and repetitive motion; occasional reaching and grasping; Hearing/Talking – Constant hearing/talking on the telephone/radio and in person; Emotional/psychological – Constant concentration, public contact and decision making; frequent time spent working alone; Special conditions – may be exposed to dust and varied outdoor conditions; may require occasional overtime, weekend or evening work, to include long hours at odd times of the day or night.

San Joaquin County complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act and, upon request, will consider reasonable accommodations to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential job functions.

CLASS: RL3031; EST: 6/11/1969; REV: 8/11/2021;