Criminal investigations are essential for any lawyer. The customer who contacts the lawyer usually asks to be defended after receiving a Notice of Investigation by the Public Prosecutor's Office, or turns to the lawyer as offended party by a crime .
In both cases, a law firm usually turns to a private investigator for help. The private investigator's role is actually crucial within a criminal enquiry, when he is part of the Defence team, because he has the main task to find the exculpatory evidence able to defend the suspect, those elements that should be found by the Public Prosecutor's Office, but which are often not detected. He's also fundamental when is part of the team of the Civil party, as operational arm of the Judicial Police.
When the investigator is part of the defence team, his main task is to support the lawyer by carrying out investigative activities in the interest of the client. In this case, his work is aimed to find exculpatory evidence, by helping the lawyer who will instead be busy to find testimony in favour of his client, and who usually does not have the proper means to carry out other types of investigations.
In this case the private investigator looks for incriminating evidence, making it available to the civil party's lawyer who, in turn, will inform the Public Prosecutor, trying to help to get justice, for the crime suffered by the client
The possibility to involve a private investigator is foreseen by law. In particular, these activities are allowed by article 11 of law n.397 of December 7, 2000, of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The law also provides that the assignment is entrusted to the professional, exclusively by a lawyer who will immediately inform the Prosecutor. The private investigator can collect testimonial information by conferring with people who are able to expose the facts. He will also be free to carry out technical reliefs of all kinds in the places where the violation occurred , doing stakeouts, photographic and video shots and other activities aimed to ascertain the facts. The investigator may also be heard before the Court, talking about his defensive activity, as required by applicable laws.