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Private Investigator: Criminal Investigation in Miami Florida

Criminal investigation is an applied science that involves the study of facts, used to identify, locate and prove the guilt of an accused criminal. A complete criminal investigation can include searching, interviews, interrogations, evidence collection and preservation and various methods of investigation. Modern-day criminal investigations commonly employ many modern scientific techniques known collectively as forensic science.

An investigator is someone who gathers, documents, and evaluates evidence and information. This is accomplished through the process of investigation. The most fundamental purpose of criminal investigation and forensic science is to discover the truth. By making this purpose the cornerstone of their behavior, investigators can remain faithful to their oath of office and the accompanying ethical standards. Four additional objectives of the investigative process are: (1) to establish that a crime was actually committed; (2) identify and apprehend the suspect(s); (3) recover stolen property; and (4) assist in the prosecution of the person(s) charged with the crime.

A criminal investigation is an undertaking that seeks, collects, and gathers evidence for a case or specific purpose. A criminal investigator looks for clues and evidence to determine whether a crime has taken place. If a crime has been committed, criminal investigators may look into the background of the accused and may try to uncover who committed the crime. Criminal investigators undertake several investigation techniques in order to find the necessary evidence for a case. Police agencies and law enforcement are committed to criminal investigations of every kind, but a growing number of individuals are choosing to launch their own criminal investigations with the help of professional investigators.

An investigation refers to the process of collecting information in order to reach some goal; for example, collecting information about the reliability and performance of a vehicle prior to purchase in order to enhance the likelihood of buying a good car. Applied to the criminal realm, a criminal investigation refers to the process of collecting information (or evidence) about a crime in order to: (1) determine if a crime has been committed; (2) identify the perpetrator; (3) apprehend the perpetrator; and (4) provide evidence to support a conviction in court. If the first three objectives are successfully attained, then the crime can be said to be solved. Several other outcomes such as recovering stolen property, deterring individuals from engaging in criminal behaviors, and satisfying crime victims have also been associated with the process.

A useful perspective on the criminal investigation process is provided by information theory (Willmer). According to information theory, the criminal investigation process resembles a battle between the police and the perpetrator over crime-related information. In committing the crime, the offender emits "signals," or leaves behind information of various sorts (fingerprints, eyewitness descriptions, murder weapon, etc.), which the police attempt to collect through investigative activities. If the perpetrator is able to minimize the amount of information available for the police to collect, or if the police are unable to recognize the information left behind, then the perpetrator will not be apprehended and therefore, the perpetrator will win the battle. If the police are able to collect a significant number of signals from the perpetrator, then the perpetrator will be identified and apprehended, and the police win. This perspective clearly underscores the importance of information in a criminal investigation.

The roots of criminal investigation can be traced back to England in the eighteenth century, a period marked by significant social, political, and economic changes. These changes were important to the development of the first modern detective force, the Bow Street Runners. In addition, London was the home of the first police reformer, Robert Peel. Both of these factors contributed to the subsequent development of police organizations and criminal investigation in the United States. Forensic science draws from diverse disciplines, such as geology, physics, chemistry, biology, and mathematics, to study physical evidence related to crime. If it is suspected that a person has died from poisoning, for example, a toxicologist, who specializes in identifying poisons and their physiological effects on humans and animals, can assist in the investigation. Experts in other areas, such as botany, forensic pathology, entomology, and archaeology, may also provide helpful information to criminal investigators. Over hundreds of years many people have made contributions to the fields of criminal investigation and forensic science.

Criminalization

One can view criminalization as a procedure deployed by society as a preemptive harm-reduction device, using the threat of punishment as a deterrent to anyone proposing to engage in the behavior causing harm. The State becomes involved because governing entities can become convinced that the costs of not criminalizing (through allowing the harms to continue unabated) outweigh the costs of criminalizing it (restricting individual liberty, for example, to minimize harm to others).

Criminalization may provide future harm reduction at least to the outside population, assuming those shamed or incarcerated or otherwise restrained for committing crimes start out more prone to criminal behavior. Likewise, one might assume that criminalizing acts that in themselves do not harm other people ("victimless crimes") may prevent subsequent harmful acts (assuming that people "prone" to commit these acts may tend to commit harmful actions in general). Some see the criminalization of "victimless crimes" as a pretext for imposing personal, religious or moral convictions on otherwise productive citizens or taxpayers.

Some commentators may see criminalization as a way to make potential criminals pay or suffer for their prospective crimes. In this case, criminalization becomes a way to set the price that one must pay to society for certain actions considered detrimental to society as a whole. An extreme view might see criminalization as State-sanctioned revenge.

States control the process of criminalization because:

  • Even if victims recognize their own role as victims, they may not have the resources to investigate and seek legal redress for the injuries suffered: the enforcers formally appointed by the State often have better access to expertise and resources.
  • The victims may only want compensation for the injuries suffered, while remaining indifferent to a possible desire for deterrence.
  • Fear of retaliation may deter victims or witnesses of crimes from taking any action. Even in policed societies, fear may inhibit from reporting incidents or from co-operating in a trial.
  • Victims, on their own, may lack the economies of scale that could allow them to administer a penal system, let alone to collect any fines levied by a court. Garoupa & Klerman (2002) warn that a rent-seeking government has as its primary motivation to maximize revenue and so, if offenders have sufficient wealth, a rent-seeking government will act more aggressively than a social-welfare-maximizing government in enforcing laws against minor crimes (usually with a fixed penalty such as parking and routine traffic violations), but more laxly in enforcing laws against major crimes.
  • As a result of the crime, victims may die or become incapacitated.

When Do I Need a Criminal Investigator?

  • If law enforcement investigations produce little or no results
  • When you need evidence gathered for criminal defense
  • To collect evidence for a criminal case
  • To find and interview other witnesses to a crime
  • To gather impartial facts about a crime
  • If you need surveillance or records searches to collect evidence

Florida's population has exploded to more than 20 million, third in the U.S. behind California and Texas. With the surge in residents, violent crime in Florida remains a concern, despite a slight drop in the number of criminal acts per capita in recent years.

According to the most recent FBI Unified Crime Reporting (UCR) statistics, more than 1.2 million criminal acts were committed in the U.S. in 2011. Of those, 98,199 occurred in Florida, with about 7 percent of them (6,913) in Miami-Dade County, the state's most populous county. Criminal acts include murder, non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault.

Aggravated assault, a violation of Section 784.021 of the Florida Statutes, accounts for two-thirds of all violent crimes in the Miami area.

The penalties imposed for convictions of violent crimes can be severe, including imprisonment and expensive fines, as well as other adverse consequences.

Attorney for Violent Crime Charges in Miami, FL If you were arrested for a violent crime under 784 or any other section of the Florida Statutes, it is important that you consult with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case.

A knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer will be able to explain the charges and potential penalties you are facing, as well as discuss possible defenses against the charges. Florida law is complicated and nuanced, and prosecutors often seek the most severe penalties, so hiring an experienced attorney to represent you in defense of violent crime charges is recommended.