The defensive investigations (also called defensive inquiry) are defined as investigative activities that the defendant can play in order to look for evidence in favor of his client, thus placing himself on the same level as the Public Prosecutor.

This option was introduced by Law December 7, 2000 n. 397, which has unquestionably strengthened the powers of the defender of the suspect in the direct search for evidence, placing him on the same level as the public prosecution and granting him the right to carry out investigations in the interests of his client.

Defensive investigations: what they are and what they are for

With the introduction of the new Title VI bis, the investigative agencies have therefore expanded their range of activities including among their services defensive investigations, which require the intervention of experts capable of carrying out accurate defensive investigations of the injured person.

The professional can take action from the early stages of the criminal proceedings (even in a preventive manner) to find sources of evidence favorable to his client.

The aforementioned law authorizes the defender and / or the private investigator in charge, to carry out defensive investigations related to the type of declarative evidence.

Main activities of the private investigator in criminal matters

Essentially, the authorized private investigator can:

– Confer with persons able to report circumstances useful for the purpose of the investigative activity;

– Access to view and describe the status of places and things or to perform technical, graphical, planimetric, photographic and audiovisual surveys;

– Carry out tracking, stalking, photographic and cinematographic shooting and all the atypical activities suitable for ascertaining the facts for which you are proceeding.

The investigator can be heard in the contradictory between the parties regarding the activity carried out in the field of defensive investigations, except for the hypothesis in which he proceeded to verbalize the statements made by the person informed about the facts, pursuant to art. 197 paragraph I letter D) c.p.p.

The aforementioned is part of the categories of qualified subjects (lawyers, technical consultants, lawyers and notaries) to oppose professional secrecy “on what they have known by reason of their ministry, office or profession”.

In conclusion, it is certainly advantageous for the lawyer to contact an investigative agency which, in the course of its information and assessment activities, will find useful evidence in favor of the suspect to be brought into the trial, elements that then allow the judge to have a more complete and real picture of the events that have happened.

In the event that the lawyer assists the injured person, the role of the private investigator is always useful and can still offer investigative cues to the activity of the public prosecutor.


Source quotation – Code of Criminal Procedure book V title VI bis defensive investigations

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