Showing posts with label Criminal Investigation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Criminal Investigation. Show all posts

Monday, January 11, 2016

Criminal Investigation Seattle WA

What is a Criminal Investigation?

When Do You 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
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 seek to uncover who committed the crime. Criminal investigators undertake several investigation techniques in order to find the necessary evidence. Police agencies 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.

Why Use a Criminal Investigator?


  • Criminal investigators operate within the law to find evidence 
  • Criminal defense investigators can gather evidence of wrongful conviction or accusation
  • Law enforcement investigators are often busy with other tasks
  • Criminal investigation divisions can be too short on resources to conduct a proper investigation
  • Exclusively dedicated criminal investigators are more persistent than law enforcement so they can provide better results
  • Criminal investigators are not limited by jurisdiction

  • Types of Criminal Investigations
    • Fraud investigations
    • Crime scene investigations
    • Sexual crime investigations
    • Theft investigations
    • Kidnapping investigations
    • Assault investigations
    • Homicide investigations
    • Criminal defense investigations                                                                   
    D. BRIAN BLACKWELL
    Licensed Private Investigator
    State of Washington

    Call 855-445-1742
    9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday - Friday
    Criminal Investigation Techniques
    • Interviews
    • Crime scene photography
    • Surveillance
    • Background checks
    • Document searches


    Tuesday, May 26, 2015

    Differences Between Criminal and Civil Cases

    The American legal system is comprised of two very different types of cases, civil and criminal. Crimes are generally offenses against the state, and are accordingly prosecuted by the state. Civil cases on the other hand, are typically disputes between individuals regarding the legal duties and responsibilities they owe one another.

    Here are six key differences between a criminal case and a civil case:

    1. Crimes are considered offenses against the state, or society as a whole, which means that even though one person might murder another person, murder itself is considered an offense to everyone in society. Accordingly, crimes against the state are prosecuted by the state, and the prosecutor (not the victim) files the case in court as a representative of the state. If it were a civil case, then the wronged party would file the case.

    2. Criminal offenses and civil offenses are generally different in terms of their punishment. Criminal cases will have jail time as a potential punishment, whereas civil cases generally only result in monetary damages or orders to do or not do something. A criminal case may involve both jail time and monetary punishments in the form of fines.

    3. The standard of proof is also very different in a criminal case versus a civil case. Crimes must generally be proved "beyond a reasonable doubt," whereas civil cases are proved by lower standards of proof such as "the preponderance of the evidence," which essentially means that it was more likely than not that something occurred in a certain way. The difference in standards exists because civil liability is considered less blameworthy and because the punishments are less severe.

    4. Criminal cases almost always allow for a trial by jury. Civil cases do allow juries in some instances, but many civil cases will be decided by a judge.

    5. A defendant in a criminal case is entitled to an attorney, and if he or she can't afford one, the state must provide an attorney. A defendant in a civil case is not given an attorney and must pay for one, or else defend him or herself.

    6. The protections afforded to defendants under criminal law are considerable, such as with the protection against illegal searches and seizures under the 4th Amendment. Many of these well known protections are not available to a defendant in a civil case.

    In general, because criminal cases have greater consequences the possibility of jail and even death criminal cases have many more protections in place and are harder to prove.

    The Same Conduct Can Produce Civil and Criminal Liability

    Although criminal and civil cases are treated very differently, many people often fail to recognize that the same conduct can result in both criminal and civil liability. One of the most famous examples of this is the O.J. Simpson trial. The same conduct led to a murder trial (criminal) and a wrongful death trial (civil.) In part, because of the different standards of proof, there was not enough evidence presented for a jury to decide that O.J. Simpson was guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt" in the criminal murder case. In the civil trial, however, the jury found enough evidence to conclude that O.J. Simpson wrongfully caused his wife's death by a "preponderance of the evidence."


    Brian Blackwell Investigations | Seattle, WA

    Sunday, May 24, 2015

    Comprehensive Background Checks

    A new nanny or babysitter, a potential tenant or renter, your child's coach, online dating, prospective business partner  in today's society, there are good reasons for wanting to verify the backgrounds of people engaged in your life. In some situations, not knowing someone's history can have dire legal, financial, and personal impacts. Instant, online background checks have become widely available and are fairly inexpensive, however, they are often quite limited in scope and not always up-to-date. Though admittedly more costly, a thorough investigation conducted by Brian Blackwell Investigations delivers more reliable, accurate and comprehensive results.

    Components of our background investigation service includes:
    • Social Security Number (SSN) Trace revealing all current and reported addresses for the last 7-10 years as well as any aliases utilized by a subject
    • Statewide Criminal and Civil Records Checks  conducted according to subject's address history
    • County Level Criminal and Civil Records Checks often times requires hands-searching documents in the actual courthouse of record
    • DMV Records  can reveal more than driving history as they can document an individual's history of substance abuse and/or criminal activity
    • Property Records lists all real property parcels owned by an individual or business, as recorded by county tax assessors statewide
    • Bankruptcy and Lien Records
    • Political Contributions
    • U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Filings
    • Customized and advanced background services are also available

    Background checks provide agencies and individuals with extremely important information. However, it is very important to be aware of their inherent limitations. Be aware that there is no such thing as a national criminal records check. There is one "nationwide" criminal database, the FBI database, also known as NCIC (National Crime Information Center) database. The FBI database is not public record and cannot be legally accessed by anyone other than criminal justice agencies. This is one of the reasons why we physically hand-search documents in the actual courthouse of record.

    Having handled a wide range of research assignments, Brian Blackwell Investigations stands behind its ability to deliver meticulously thorough background checks in addition to diligently investigating any of your personal matters. We are sensitive to the private nature of these types of investigations and work with our clients to acquire information as quickly, quietly and efficiently as possible. We provide the information you need to protect your financial stability, safety, and most importantly, your family.


    Brian Blackwell Investigations | Seattle, WA

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

    Victimology

    Factors In Becoming A Victim

    An important aspect of investigating a violent crime is an understanding of the victim and the relation that their lifestyle or personality characteristics may have contributed to the offender choosing them as a victim. People have the right to live how they wish - as long as they do not harm others - without becoming a victim. Yet the fact remains, that to understand the offender, one must first understand the victim.

    Victims are classified during an investigation in three general categories that describe the level of risk their lifestyle represents in relation to the violent crime that has been committed. The importance of understanding this in an investigation is directly related back to the level of risk to the offender during the commission of the crime. This information is important to the investigation to better understand the sophistication or possible pathology of the offender.

    High Risk Victims

    Victims in this group have a lifestyle that makes them a higher risk for being a victim. The most obvious high risk victim is the prostitute. Prostitutes place themselves at risk every single time they go to work. Prostitutes are high risk because they will get into a stranger's automobile, go to secluded areas with strangers, and for the most part attempt to conceal their actions for legal reasons. Offenders often rely on all these factors and specifically target prostitutes because it lowers their chances of becoming a suspect in the crime. Therefore, in this example, the prostitute is a high risk victim creating a lower risk to the offender.

    Moderate Risk Victims

    Victims that fall into this category are lower risk victims, but for some reason were in a situation that placed them in a greater level of risk. A person that is stranded on a dark, secluded road due to a flat tire, that accepts a ride from a stranger and is then victimized would be a good example of this type of victim level risk.

    Low Risk Victims

    The lifestyle of these individuals would normally not place them in any degree of risk for becoming a victim of a violent crime. These individuals stay out of trouble, do not have peers that are criminal, are aware of their surroundings and attempt to take precautions to not become a victim. They lock the doors, do not use drugs, and do not go into areas that are dark and secluded.

    Below is a list of variables that should be included when gathering information on a victim

    • Gender & Age
    • Personality
    • Lifestyle Habits
    • Reputation
    • Risk Level
    • Leisure Activities
    • Relationships: social, sexual, family
    • Dating/Sexual Habits
    • Family/Marital Status
    • Employment/Income
    • Friends/Enemies
    • Life Insurance?
    • Medical History
    • Physical Handicaps
    • Mental Stability
    • Mode of Transportation
    • Education
    • Alcohol/Drug Use?
    • Likes/Dislikes/Fears
    • Previous Victim?
    • Criminal History?
    • Victim's Reaction to an Attack - Passive/Aggressive?

    After all information has been gathered, a timeline of events leading up to the crime should be created to better understand how this specific individual became a victim of a violent crime.

    Brian Blackwell Investigations | Seattle, WA

    Saturday, July 19, 2014

    Criminal Investigations & Methods to Achieve Justice

    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.


    Methods to Achieve Justice

    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.

    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 d
    ay'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.



    Brian Blackwell Investigations | Seattle, WA