What does a Criminal Investigator and Special Agent do?
Investigate alleged or suspected criminal violations of Federal, state, or local laws to determine if evidence is sufficient to recommend prosecution.
- Obtain and verify evidence by interviewing and observing suspects and witnesses or by analyzing records.
- Record evidence and documents, using equipment such as cameras and photocopy machines.
- Examine records to locate links in chains of evidence or information.
- Prepare reports that detail investigation findings.
- Collaborate with other offices and agencies to exchange information and coordinate activities.
- Determine scope, timing, and direction of investigations.
- Testify before grand juries concerning criminal activity investigations.
- Analyze evidence in laboratories or in the field.
- Investigate organized crime, public corruption, financial crime, copyright infringement, civil rights violations, bank robbery, extortion, kidnapping, and other violations of federal or state statutes.
- Identify case issues and evidence needed, based on analysis of charges, complaints, or allegations of law violations.
- Obtain and use search and arrest warrants.
- Serve subpoenas or other official papers.
- Collaborate with other authorities on activities such as surveillance, transcription, and research.
- Develop relationships with informants to obtain information related to cases.
- Search for and collect evidence, such as fingerprints, using investigative equipment.
- Collect and record physical information about arrested suspects, including fingerprints, height and weight measurements, and photographs.
- Compare crime scene fingerprints with those from suspects or fingerprint files to identify perpetrators, using computers.
- Administer counterterrorism and counternarcotics reward programs.
- Provide protection for individuals, such as government leaders, political candidates, and visiting foreign dignitaries.
- Perform undercover assignments and maintain surveillance, including monitoring authorized wiretaps.
- Manage security programs designed to protect personnel, facilities, and information.
- Issue security clearances.