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Criminal Investigator

Salary: N/A

DEFINITION: Under general supervision (Criminal Investigator I) or direction (Criminal Investigator II), conducts investigations in a wide variety of criminal and civil cases handled by the District Attorney's Office; and performs related duties as required.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: The Criminal Investigator I is the entry level classification in the series. Incumbents are expected to obtain sufficient knowledge and proficiency to progress to the journey level. The Criminal Investigator II is the journey-level class in the series. Positions in this class are distinguished by the incumbents' greater responsibility for conducting investigations and for exercising greater independent judgment. The Criminal Investigator I/II classifications are distinguished from the Criminal Investigator, Senior by the latter's supervisory responsibility.


1. Performs pre-trial investigations and assists other investigators and prosecuting attorneys in court; traces, interviews, and subpoenas witnesses, victims, and suspects in criminal and civil cases; obtains statements, documents and related evidence for use in court.
2. Conducts investigations of a wide variety of civil complaints, and felony and misdemeanor criminal cases, including such areas as: consumer and environmental law, career offender matters, NSF checks, spousal abuse, major narcotics offenders, 3-strikes prosecutions, insurance fraud, parental child abductions, and family support enforcement.
3. Examines court, police, public and governmental records needed for investigation; assists prosecuting attorneys in the preparation of evidence for trial by taking photographs, preparing diagrams, charts, etc.
4. Prepares and serves search warrants and arrest warrants; prepares reports for use in preparation and prosecution of criminal and civil cases.
5. Coordinates the appearance of witnesses at trial and explains court procedures to them.
6. Testifies in court concerning evidence gathered in pre-trial investigations.
7. Acts as a liaison and coordinates investigative activities with law enforcement officers from various agencies; conducts background investigations of new staff.
8. Serves criminal and civil process documents; makes arrests as necessary based on probable cause, bench warrants, and criminal complaints.
9. Operates police radio, personal and mainframe computers, photographic and recording equipment, CLETS terminal, and other related law enforcement equipment.


May be responsible for any of the duties performed by the Criminal Investigator I, in addition to the following:

1. Plans, directs and conducts a variety of civil and felony and misdemeanor criminal investigations prosecuted by the District Attorney's Office.
2. Provides investigative services for other County and public agencies in areas such as Health Department violations, Building and Planning violations, and Grand Jury investigations.
3. Establishes and maintains contact with informants and gathers intelligence information concerning criminal activities.
4. Assists in the investigation of complicated criminal and civil law violations that come within the province of the Grand Jury; investigate perjury referrals from the Municipal or Superior Courts.
5. Cooperates with all law enforcement agencies of the county, state and federal governments, and assists local agencies in the investigation of crimes when requested to do so by the heads of those departments.


Possession of a valid Basic P.O.S.T. Certificate; and:

1. Two years of sworn criminal investigation experience in a law enforcement agency; or,
2. a combination of training, education, and experience that is equivalent to the employment standard listed above and that provides the required knowledge and abilities.

Knowledge of: the substantive and procedural California criminal, civil, juvenile, fraud, and support laws; techniques of interviewing; the use and care of firearms; laws of arrest, search, and seizure; rules of evidence; admissibility of confessions and witnesses' statements; proper English construction and language usage; financial recordkeeping; and tracing and locating missing persons and assets.

Ability to: gather, analyze, correlate, and evaluate observed facts and evidence; interview or interrogate witnesses and suspects effectively; accurately prepare investigative reports; read and comprehend legal material; communicate effectively orally and in writing; work effectively with a variety of individuals and with various levels of government, law enforcement, and judicial agencies; work occasional long hours including evenings and/or weekends; learn to use computers as an investigative resource; learn, interpret, and apply the substantive and procedural laws and regulations to non-support, establishment of paternity, and child support collections; work independently; prepare a variety of written documents such as affidavits, declarations, search and arrest warrants, and investigative reports; and effectively deal with hostile persons and effect arrests if necessary.


Possession of a valid Intermediate P.O.S.T. Certificate; and:

1. Four years of sworn criminal investigation experience in a law enforcement agency; or,
2. two years of experience performing duties equivalent to the class of Criminal Investigator I with Santa Barbara County; or,
3. a combination of training, education, and experience that is equivalent to one of the employment standards listed above and that provides the required knowledge and abilities.

Knowledge of:

Same as level I plus: California Penal Code and sections of other California codes commonly used in investigations, such as Business and Professions, Evidence, Civil, Government, Elections, and Welfare and Institutions Codes; courtroom procedures; techniques of securing, evaluating, and preparing evidence and exhibits for trial; techniques, methods, skills, and procedures used in criminal investigations; and, financial recordkeeping and related documents such as bank statements, records and ledgers.

Ability to:

Same as level I plus: Obtain information through interviews, depositions and observations.


General: Must meet minimum peace officer standards as specified in California Government Code Sections 1029 and 1031 including but not limited to: no prior felony convictions (unless fully pardoned), good moral character as determined by thorough background check, psychological evaluation, polygraph, submission of fingerprints for purpose of criminal record check, and found to be free from any physical, emotional, or mental condition which might adversely affect the powers of a peace officer.

License: Possession of a valid California Class C Driver's License.

Citizenship: Must be a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident alien who is eligible for and has applied for citizenship.

Special Requirement: May be required to assist on civil or criminal cases being tried in other counties due to changes in venue; may be required to work evenings, weekends, and holidays while conducting major crime investigations or to assist other law enforcement agencies in major emergencies.

Desirable Qualifications: Supplemental college-level coursework in the field of law enforcement and the techniques of investigation; personal and mainframe computer skills; and the ability to speak fluently in Spanish.

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