Public Defense and The Private Investigator

We would all like to optimistically believe in the intrinsic good of our justice system, the right to a free and fair trial, the right to a speedy trial, and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Many times defendants’ rights are discounted or even overlooked entirely by the overburdened public defenders and overzealous prosecutors. As public defenders’ caseloads continue to grow, the responsibility of due diligence falls more and more on the private investigator. Those morally sound and upstanding private investigators will go the extra mile to tie up loose ends, ensuring the defendant is aware of the most relevant and factual information to aid in their defense.


We would all like to optimistically believe in the intrinsic good of our justice system, the right to a free and fair trial, the right to a speedy trial, and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Many times defendants’ rights are discounted or even overlooked entirely by the overburdened public defenders and overzealous prosecutors. As public defenders’ caseloads continue to grow, the responsibility of due diligence falls more and more on the private investigator. Those morally sound and upstanding private investigators will go the extra mile to tie up loose ends, ensuring the defendant is aware of the most relevant and factual information to aid in their defense.

As the burden of responsibility unofficially shifts away from the public defender and toward the private investigators, so does the defendant’s fate. It is important that private investigators remain aware of this fact as they perform their investigation. In order to provide the most sound defense for the defendant, private investigators must uncover as much factual information as possible. Only relevant and factual information will provide a defendant with the best possible defense. In order to obtain this information, private investigators must attend to even the most seemingly trivial details. Sometimes seemingly trivial information can turn out to be not so trivial.

An eye for detail means, tending to those overlooked and tedious tasks. As the resources of the court systems continue to be stretched beyond their means, the private investigator must assume responsibility for due diligence. These overlooked and tedious tasks include tracking down and interviewing all individuals related to the case. All witnesses and related parties should be thoroughly interviewed and all information should be documented and recorded. Experts should also be interviewed and called upon to provide analysis when appropriate.

Once all of the information is collected, private investigators must then painstakingly sift through all of this information. This sifting process entails a great deal of reviewing, re-reviewing and comparing information, looking for inconsistencies and perhaps overlooked and potentially valuable information. These sources of information typically include police reports, search warrants, grand jury transcripts, interview transcript from witnesses and related parties, physical evidence from the scene of the situation and documentary evidence. No information or evidence should be overlooked or discarded.

Public defenders, while well intended, are usually unable to pay due diligence to each defendant’s case as they are typically overwhelmed with their own ever growing caseload. Public defenders are also usually not equipped with the time, and resources of a private attorney. Thus, it is difficult for these individuals to provide the best and most effective legal representation to each of the defendants they represent. Those states experiencing financial constraints may even have to outsource their public legal representation. These outsourced, Publicly funded attorneys are usually paid per case and thus are highly motivate to push as many cases through the system as quickly as possible. Meanwhile due to the political nature of their profession prosecutors attempt to appease the public by pushing for harsher sentences and speedier trials, usually to the detriment of the defendant. Police officers are sometimes caught up in the political atmosphere of their profession, catering to the demands of the impatient constituents and media.

These circumstances continue to reinforce the emphasis for the private investigator to help defendants receive a truly fair trial. An eye for detail and going the extra mile can help a defendant access the necessary factual information.

Pennington & Associates ltd. provides criminal defense investigation services. Private investigators are available for immediate service in Ohio throughout the cities of Ironton, Portsmouth, Gallipolis, Jackson, Chillicothe, Cincinnati, Columbus, and surrounding areas. Service is immediately available in West Virginia throughout the cities of Huntington, Charleston, and surrounding areas.
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