Chief Public Defender Investigator (#RL3033)
$46.46-$56.47 Hourly / $8,053.19-$9,788.70 Monthly / $96,638.34-$117,464.51 Yearly


Under general direction, performs responsible managerial and administrative work in managing the Investigative Division of 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 a single position class in the Public Defender's Office. The incumbent plans, coordinates and supervises the investigative functions of the Public Defender's Office. Direction is received from the Public Defender and Assistant Public Defender.


  • Plans, organizes and directs the investigative activities of the Public Defender's Office through subordinate investigators; selects employees and recommends promotions, transfers, disciplinary actions and merit increases; supervises the training of investigative staff.
  • Confers and consults with the Public Defender in the formulation of investigative plans, policies and procedures; disseminates policy to staff.
  • Reviews and evaluates reports on cases investigated; ensures that reports are completed; advises the Public Defender as to course of action to be taken; assists attorneys in court and in the presentation of evidence; testifies in court as required.
  • Coordinates the investigative activities of the Public Defender's Office with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies; establishes liaison with other public agencies.
  • Directs the compilation and maintenance of division records, prepares reports and correspondence; assists in division budget preparation.
  • May personally conduct the most complex and sensitive investigations.
  • Conducts or participates in meetings and conferences as a representative of the Public Defender's Office.
  • Participates in or supervises the administration of polygraph and/or voice stress analysis examinations.


Education: Two years of experience as a Public Defender Investigator II in San Joaquin County service.

Education: Possession of a Bachelor's Degree from an accredited college or university in administration of justice and/or related field.

Experience: Three years of investigative experience with complex and/or sensitive cases. Qualifying investigative experience includes investigation in a police or sheriff’s department, public defender’s office, district attorney’s office, probation department, or welfare fraud unit.

Substitution: Additional complex and/or sensitive criminal investigation experience may be substituted for the required education on a year-for-year basis for a maximum of two years where one year of education is equivalent to 30 semester (or equivalent quarter) units.

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; principles and practices of supervision and training; management principles and techniques.


Plan, organize and direct the work of subordinates; train and supervise subordinates; maintain records; prepare, review and evaluate reports; express oneself clearly, both orally and in writing; establish and maintain effective working relationships with law enforcement officials, witnesses and the public; interact and communicate well with persons of diverse ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds, and with persons from all sectors of the criminal justice system; gather and evaluate facts and evidence; draw logical conclusions and take appropriate action; secure necessary information through interview and interrogation; act as witness in legal proceedings; carry out special and general assignments independently.


Mobility - operate a keyboard; sit for long periods; does frequent walking, bending, squatting, crawling, climbing stairs, ladders, and driving; Lifting -
able to lift 30-70 lbs.; Visual - Good overall vision; frequent reading and close-up work, hand and eye coordination, color/depth perception; Dexterity - reaching, repetitive motion, and writing; Hearing/Talking - hear on the telephone/radio; hear faint sounds; talk in person and telephone; Emotional/Psychological Factors - exposure to trauma, grief, death; public contact; decision making; concentration; working alone; working weekends and/or evenings which may 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: RL3033; EST: 12/13/1978; REV: 8/11/2021;