Criminal Investigator

Gather enough evidence to bring criminals to justice.

What does a Criminal Investigator do?

Crimes are committed every day. Many are left unsolved. Others are only finally solved with the help of a criminal investigator.

Whether the crime is theft or murder, kidnapping or fraud, the key to piecing together the facts starts with a criminal investigator. As a criminal investigator, you investigate people accused of crimes.

Often the process begins at the crime scene where your keen sense of awareness comes in handy. For example, in a murder or other assault case, you inspect the body, looking for markings that indicate the use of a weapon. You also scour the surrounding area for footprints, fingerprints, hair or bodily fluid samples, or anything else that can help you build a case. After all, the goal of your job is to provide enough evidence so the bad guys (or girls) are arrested, charged, and penalized for their crimes.

Outside the crime scene this means reviewing information gathered by other agencies (such as police), researching the background of accused parties, analyzing lab results, and studying photographs. You might also tail, or follow, the accused to observe who they meet with, what they buy, and where they go. In some cases, you’ll even listen to wiretap conversations.

You interview family members, coworkers, and anyone else who has information about the case; build relationships with informants; and obtain search warrants as needed. When your investigation is complete, you turn the evidence over to be used during prosecution.