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The vast majority of criminal defences do not require the use of a private investigator. Criminal lawyers are highly skilled and extremely diligent in examining the investigative police report and the prosecution’s evidence. As such, hiring a PI is a special circumstance that is only used when necessary.

It is best to consult your defence lawyer before choosing to hire a private investigator. They may hire, or recommend hiring, one if it allows them to be more thorough and/or if outside aid may help you get acquitted.

In this article, we explore the circumstances where a private investigator may be beneficial to a criminal defence.


A lawyer may recommend a private investigator if they believe there is more to learn or that should be reassessed at the crime scene.

Unlike the police, a PI often only takes on a single case at a time. This allows them a more direct focus than law enforcement officers, allowing them to put all their resources into one investigation. As such, they may be able to uncover mistakes or things that were missed when the police gathered evidence.

This may include a variety of tasks, including examining the Prosecution’s evidence or revisiting the crime scene or pulling records from various governmental agencies.


When time is pressed or witnesses are difficult to locate, an investigator may be employed to find witnesses and conduct interviews. A PI looks for consistency and attempts to find additional information that may not have come out during the initial report.

They may also attempt to discover any additional witnesses who were not interviewed by the police. As well, they can endeavour to uncover whether or not the proper procedures were followed during the arrest.

Private investigators are specially trained, and many have previous law enforcement experience. As such, they are well equipped for these sorts of tasks.


The best criminal lawyers equip themselves with the right tools and skills to challenge evidence and protect your rights. Although outside services, like private investigators, are usually not necessary you should be able to trust your defence lawyer to explore all relevant avenues to challenge and/or dismiss evidence.

In litigation, a criminal lawyer may move to strike or dismiss evidence. This is usually done before trial, relying on their pre-trial diligence and expertise.

If you or are facing criminal charges in the GTA, a criminal litigation lawyer is your best option. They will help you understand your charges, options, and potential outcomes.

William Jaksa is an experienced criminal defence lawyer with a strong track record of defending his clients’ interests and rights. Contact Jaksa today for a consultation.

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