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Public Defender Investigator

Salary: $25.60-$31.25 hourly / $4,452-$5,435 monthly / Range: 5834

DEFINITION: Under general direction, performs investigations of felony and misdemeanor charges filed against individuals being represented by the Public Defender's Office; and performs related work as required.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: This is the journey-level class in the series in which incumbents conduct a full range of criminal and civil investigations for the Public Defender's Office; it is distinguished from the Public Defender's Investigator II class by the latter's supervisory responsibility.

EXAMPLES OF DUTIES: Conducts investigations to support the legal defense of a variety of civil and criminal cases; interviews clients, suspects, relatives and others to obtain statements, documents and related factual evidence; visits scenes of crimes to evaluate physical and environmental factors related to case investigations; prepares diagrams, charts, and drawings and takes photographs of crime scenes; locates and interviews witnesses and analyzes their statements; presents findings and evaluations to the Public Defender or his deputies; may appear in court; prepares reports and correspondence; serves subpoenas.


1. Two years experience conducting legal or criminal investigation or a closely related field, preferably involving court action; or,
2. equivalent combination of training, education and experience that would provide the required knowledge and abilities.

Possession of a valid California Driver License.

Knowledge of: the techniques and practices of criminal investigations; pertinent sections of California criminal law such as the rules of evidence, and the admissibility of confessions and statements of witnesses; the functions and extent of authority of the Public Defender's Office; use of the English language.

Ability to: gather, organize, analyze and evaluate facts and evidence and draw sound conclusions objectively; prepare accurate reports; conduct investigations; communicate verbally and in writing.

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