Search

Job

Investigator Travis County Public Defender's Office

Travis County Public Defender's Office (Austin, Texas)


New
|
Published 21 days ago

December 7, 2020
November 23, 2020
$51,934 - $56,596

Job Summary

The Travis County Public Defender's Office (PDO) is a comprehensive public defender office envisioned to be client-centered, independent, and innovative to the needs of Travis County residents. Consistent with nationally recognized best practices, the PDO provides high-quality holistic defense representation and other support to people accused of criminal offenses in Travis County.


PDO Investigators are a critical part of the defense team as they work in concert with public defender attorneys to investigate allegations of suspected violations of criminal statutes and possible legal defenses to and mitigation against those allegations and use their findings to provide information to help guide the course and outcome of client representation.


Distinguishing Characteristics:

This job is in the Court Services job family. It is distinguished from the Investigator job in that it does not require TCOLE certification. Requires working irregular hours and/or occasionally traveling out of town/state and stay overnight as individual investigations demand.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Under the supervision of the assigned attorney, and in coordination with other members of the defense team:
  • Plan and conduct complete investigations of criminal allegations and circumstances of clients lived experiences, including:
  • Identifying, evaluating and collecting information, data and evidence;
  • Visiting scenes, developing leads, contacts and sources of information;
  • Interviewing clients;
  • Locating and/or interviewing witnesses, complainants, family members, law enforcement officials, representatives of agencies and others across a wide variety of settings to gather statements and information on events surrounding allegations and/or relevant mitigating circumstances;
  • Serving subpoenas;
  • Taking photographs and measurements; and
  • Collecting and evaluating physical and testimonial evidence.
  • Present verbally and in writing findings of investigation, including:
  • Discussion and consultation with attorney and other members of the defense team;
  • Maintenance of complete and accurate records of investigative activities;
  • Preparation of written reports and statements;
  • Drawing diagrams to scale; and
  • Preparation of demonstrative evidence for use in proceedings related to the allegations such as diagrams, charts, and photographs.
  • Appear as a witness in proceedings related to the criminal allegations to present facts and information discovered during investigation, including facts and information relevant to legal defenses to and mitigation against the allegations.
  • Performs other job-related duties as assigned.

Minimum Requirements

Education and Experience:

Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in Criminal Justice, Forensics, Sociology, Political Science, Psychology, Journalism, History or related field. Verifiable training or work/internship experience (cumulative minimum of 300 hours) performing investigative duties or intensive research in the field of law, media/journalism, public health/welfare, human/civil rights, education, social sciences, public policy/government/community development or related field.


OR,

Four years of verifiable experience as a licensed investigator or licensed administrative investigator. Experience must include performing investigative work in connection with administrative, juvenile petitions, criminal and/or civil crimes, complaints and/or violations.


OR,

Any combination of education and experience that has been achieved and is equivalent to the stated education and experience and required knowledge, skills, and abilities sufficient to successfully perform the duties and responsibilities of this job.


Licenses, Registrations, Certifications, or Special Requirements:

  • Valid driver’s license.
  • Spanish fluency, written and verbal.
  • Special Requirements: Must be at least 21 years of age. Willingness to work irregular hours and/or occasionally travel out of town/state and stay overnight as individual investigations demand.
  • Please attach resume.

Preferred:

  • Applications with a cover letter detailing interest in the position, including why you want to work for the Travis County Public Defender’s Office.
  • Mission-aligned experience (work or lived) engaging people/communities directly impacted by the criminal/immigration/indigent civil legal systems.


Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:


Knowledge of:

  • The purpose and mission of the Public Defender's Office;
  • Interviewing and investigative techniques and procedures;
  • Elements of criminal/civil offenses and legal defenses;
  • General rules of evidence;
  • Laws and practices relating to the service of subpoenas and the treatment of witnesses;
  • Standards of defense investigator ethics.

Skill in:

  • Critical analysis and evaluation.
  • Clear written and oral communication.
  • Basic data analysis.
  • General computing, word processing, and data entry.
  • Use of measuring devices and/or film/digital photographic equipment.
  • Organization and time management.
  • Socially and culturally competent interaction with people from a wide variety of backgrounds, professions, and cultures, including people from marginalized communities.

Ability to:

  • Recognize, collect, gather, and preserve evidence, including taking witness statements.
  • Be objective in fact finding.
  • Evaluate and analyze evidence, including forensic or scientific evidence, against elements of criminal offenses and legal defenses.
  • Determine priorities and importance of various types of evidence.
  • Quickly and consistently exercise sound judgment.
  • Adapt to many different environments.
  • Communicate effectively across lines of difference with others.
  • Keep accurate records.
  • Prepare written reports and documents of varying lengths.
  • Navigate databases and access Internet resources.

Work Environment & Other Information

The PDO is committed to inclusive hiring and dedicated to diversity in our work and staff. The PDO strongly encourages candidates of all identities, experiences, abilities and communities to apply. All applicants should be dedicated to working in and sustaining an environment that enables staff and clients to feel empowered, valued, respected, and safe. In considering applicants, the PDO values an applicant's experience and/or thoughtfulness in working with people from communities that experience marginalization.


Physical requirements include the ability to lift/carry up to 50 pounds occasionally, visual acuity, speech and hearing, hand and eye coordination and manual dexterity necessary to operate a computer and office equipment. Subject to standing, walking, sitting, repetitive motion, reaching, climbing stairs, driving, bending, stooping, kneeling, crouching, crawling, pushing, pulling, balancing, client/customer contact, squatting to perform the essential functions.


Travis County employees play an important role in business continuity. As such, employees can be assigned to business continuity efforts outside of normal job functions.


This job description is intended to be generic in nature. It is not necessarily an exhaustive list of all duties and responsibilities. The essential duties, functions and responsibilities and overtime eligibility may vary based on the specific tasks assigned to the position.

This position is partially funded through a multi-year grant from the Texas Indigent Defense Commission. 


Work Hours: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM; Monday through Friday

Works some holidays, nights and weekends

5% travel required.


Department: Public Defender Office


Location: 507 W. 11th St., Austin, TX 78701


Criminal, Education and Employment Background Check Required.

Job Summary

The Travis County Public Defender's Office (PDO) is a comprehensive public defender office envisioned to be client-centered, independent, and innovative to the needs of Travis County residents. Consistent with nationally…

Details at a glance

  • On-site Location
  • Full Time Schedule
  • Other Education Requirement
  • Entry level

Benefits

Benefits

Employment at Travis County comes with a full array of benefits. We offer comprehensive health insurance, a no-cost, on-site Health and Wellness clinic, longevity pay, paid vacations, sick time and personal holidays, not to mention an industry competitive salary structure and a friendly, stable work environment.

FY2020 Travis County Benefit Guide

In this valuable Travis County Benefits Guide you will find benefit summaries, eligibility requirements, costs, contact numbers and addresses as well as other general information on the benefits available to Travis County Employees and Retirees.

Credit Union

Employees may join the Travis County Credit Union which offers low-interest loans, savings plans through payroll deduction, safe deposit boxes and other benefits.

Deferred Compensation

Employees may enroll in a tax- free sheltered investment plan through payroll deduction.

Direct Deposit

Employees may sign up for direct bank deposit.

Employee Assistance Program

Travis County provides a confidential counseling and referral service free of charge to county employees and their family.

Employee Organizations

Membership in the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Union is available through payroll deduction.

Employee Health & Wellness Clinic

Employees may access the clinic for a variety of wellness program and health care services with no co-pay, no deductible and no co-insurance costs.

Holidays

An average of eleven paid holidays are designated by the Travis County Commissioners Court at the beginning of each fiscal year.

Longevity

Longevity pay is paid for each year completed after three years of continuous service. Peace Officers in a law enforcement activity, whose job requires state peace officer certification, receive pay after one year of certification.

Parking

A limited number of assigned parking spaces are available to employees in the Courthouse Complex.

Personal Holidays

Full-time employees are eligible for up to three paid personal holidays each calendar year. Part-time employees shall be granted personal holidays on a prorated basis. New employees earn personal holidays for the calendar year in which he/she begins employment, based on the month in which employment begins:

January – March

3 personal holidays

 

April - June

2 personal holidays

 

July - September

1 personal holiday

 

October - December

None


New employees are eligible to take personal holidays after 90 days of employment.

Retirement

Travis County is a member of the Texas County & District Retirement System with mandatory participation by certain classes of employees. Seven percent (7%) of the gross salary is deducted each pay period. An employee is fully vested after eight years of service. Benefits are prorated for part-time employees.

Sick Leave

Employees earn sick leave at a rate of eight hours per month with unlimited accrual during employment. Part-time employees earn sick leave on a pro-rated basis.

Tuition Refund

Certain classes of full-time employees may receive reimbursement for fees associated with pre-approved, job related course work completed satisfactorily.

Vacation

Based on years of county service, full-time employees earn vacation time at the following rates:

0 to 5 years

4.0 hours per pay period

 

6 to 10 years

4.5 hours per pay period

 

11 to 15 years

5.0 hours per pay period

 

16 to 20 years

5.5 hours per pay period

 

21 plus years

6.0 hours per pay period


Part-time employees earn vacation leave on a pro-rated basis.

Workers' Compensation

The county provides all employees workers' compensation coverage with benefits in accordance with state statute, if the employee sustains an injury out of, or in the course of work.

Benefits

Employment at Travis County comes with a full array of benefits. We offer comprehensive health insurance, a no-cost, on-site Health and Wellness clinic, longevity pay…

Level of Language Proficiency

Spanish fluency, written and verbal.

Spanish fluency, written and verbal.

Location

507 W. 11th St., Austin, TX 78701

How to Apply

  • Valid driver’s license.
  • Special Requirements: Must be at least 21 years of age. Willingness to work irregular hours and/or occasionally travel out of town/state and stay overnight as individual investigations demand.
  • Please attach resume.
  • Valid driver’s license.
  • Special Requirements: Must be at least 21 years of age. Willingness to work irregular hours and/or occasionally travel out of town/state and stay overnight as…

Join Idealist

Sign up today to save your favorite jobs and get email alerts when new ones are posted.