Criminal defense attorneys will often hire a private investigator to assist in trial preparation. This is done for two reasons.
First, the private investigator is skilled at gathering evidence and information that may be useful to the defendant’s case.
Second, by using a private investigator to survey the alleged crime scene, speak with prospective witnesses, etc., the attorney avoids becoming a witness in his or her own case.
Attorneys for indigent defendants can file a motion for funds with the court requesting money to pay a certified private investigator.