What is a Criminal Investigation?A criminal investigation is an official effort to uncover information about a crime. There are generally three ways that a person can be brought to justice for committing a criminal act. First, and usually the least likely, the individual is driven by their conscience to immediately confess. Second, the perpetrator is caught in the act. Third, and most common, a criminal investigation identifies the guilty party to the crime, after which he or she may confess or be convicted by trial.
When a crime has been committed, investigators have two primary concerns: who committed the crime and what the motive was. The reason why a person breaks a law is called the motive. The motive isn't always known after identifying the perpetrator in a criminal investigation. Sometimes the motive is suspected or known and used to catch the criminal. This is often true with crimes such as kidnappings and murders. Notes or other forms of evidence are sometimes left behind at a crime scene that help reveal the culprit and why the crime was committed.
Investigators may use a variety of methods to conduct a criminal investigation. They may use scientific techniques such as fingerprint and ballistics analysis, and even canines. A controversial method of investigation is the use of informants. Many
people disagree with this practice because these individuals are generally criminals who are looking to get out of trouble or to reduce their punishments. It is therefore argued that they can be influenced to say or do whatever will please those investigating the case.
Methods to Achieve Justice
Some cases require investigation techniques that demand specialized knowledge or training that the investigators or colleagues may not have. This means that criminal investigators may have to employ others to help them. This is especially true with deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) testing. Although this technique is common place in to day's criminal investigations, it is often performed by third-parties.
A criminal investigation does not always yield results. Sometimes suspects are accused only for it to be determined later that they are not guilty. At other times, an extensive criminal investigation may not produce any suspects. This can mean that no one will be punished for the crime that was committed.
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