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Public Defender

Company: County of Sonoma (CA)
Location: santa rosa
Posted on: May 3, 2021

Job Description:

The Public Defender's Office is looking for a dedicated and passionate investigator to join their team. English/ Spanish Bilingual skills are highly desired!
Starting salary up to $47.78/hourly ($99,722/yearly), plus a cash allowance of approximately $200/month*

Do you have experience in the field of criminal defense investigation, and:
  • The ability to manage an active caseload in a timely and efficient manner
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

If you answered yes, take your Investigator career to the next level and become a Public Defender Investigator I!
As a Public Defender Investigator I you will investigate criminal and some civil cases, interview clients, witnesses, law enforcement officers, and other persons who may provide pertinent information to a case. You will also:
  • Review case materials, including police reports, photos, and recorded statements
  • Examine various records and documents related to alleged crimes or civil wrongs
  • Visit scenes of alleged crimes to ascertain and evaluate physical, material, and environmental factors relevant to case investigations
  • Act as a liaison between the Public Defender's Office, clients, and governmental agencies
  • Investigate cases referred to the Public Defender's Office

The ideal candidate will possess:
  • Experience in the field of criminal defense investigation
  • The ability to manage an active caseload in a timely and efficient manner
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • English/Spanish bilingual skills are highly desirable

Working at the County of Sonoma offers expansive opportunities for growth and development, the ability to be a part of a challenging and rewarding work environment, and the satisfaction of knowing you're working to better our communities. You can also look forward to excellent benefits* including:

  • An annual Staff Development/Wellness Benefit allowance up to $850 and ongoing education/training opportunities
  • Competitive vacation and sick leave accruals, 12 paid holidays, and an additional 8 floating holiday hours per year
  • Significant portion of health care premiums paid by the County and access to several health plan options
  • County contribution to a Health Reimbursement Arrangement to help fund post-retirement employee health insurance/benefits
  • Retirement fully integrated with Social Security
  • May be eligible for up to 8 weeks (320 hours) of Paid Parental Leave after 12 months of County employment
  • Eligibility for a salary increase after 1,040 hours (6 months when working full-time) for good work performance; eligibility for a salary increase for good performance every year thereafter, until reaching the top of the salary range
  • With time and good performance, the opportunity for advancement to Public Defender Investigator II ( $114,019 /yearly)

The Public Defender has the mandated responsibility of defending any person who is not financially able to employ counsel and who is charged with the commission of any contempt or offense triable in the superior or municipal courts. The Public Defender also represents qualified individuals in probate and welfare proceedings and may represent any person who is not financially able to employ counsel in proceedings relating to the nature or conditions of detention prior to adjudication.

*Salary is negotiable within the established range. Benefits described herein do not represent a contract and may be changed without notice. Additional information can found in the . The employment list established from this recruitment may also be used to fill future full-time, part-time, or extra-help positions as they occur during the active status of this list. County employees who wish to be considered for future vacancies should consider applying to this recruitment. APPLICATION SUBMISSIONS REQUIRE THE SUPPLEMENTAL QUESTIONNAIRE BE COMPLETED. Minimum Qualifications Education and Experience: Education and experience that would provide the knowledge and ability.

License: Possession of a valid driver's license at the appropriate level including necessary special endorsements, as required by the State of California to perform the essential job functions of the position. Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Working knowledge of: investigative techniques; interviewing principles and techniques; the principles of identification, preservation and presentation of evidence; civil and criminal law; the English language; its usage, syntax and grammatical structure; the legal rights of citizens as pertains to the judicial process.

Some knowledge of: legal procedures and rules of evidence; criminal and civil law; financial record keeping.

Ability to: conduct effective field investigations; establish and maintain effective working relationships with the general public and staff; prepare basic factual reports in both written and oral formats. Selection Procedure & Some Helpful Tips When Applying
  • Your application information and your responses to the supplemental questions are evaluated and taken into consideration throughout the entire selection process.
  • You should list all employers and positions held within the last ten years in the work history section of your application. Be as thorough as possible when responding to the supplemental questions.
  • You may include history beyond ten years if related to the position for which you are applying. If you held multiple positions with one employer, list out each position separately.
  • Failure to follow these instructions may impact your competitiveness in this process or may result in disqualification.
Please visit to review more detailed information about the application, examination, and department selection processes.

Responses to supplemental questions will be scored using position-specific criteria. Please provide specific and detailed responses of a reasonable length to allow for thorough assessment of your qualifications. Responses which state "See Resume" or "See Application" may be considered insufficient and therefore may not be scored.
The selection procedure will consist of the following examination:

An Application & Supplemental Questionnaire Appraisal Examination (weight 100%) will be conducted to evaluate each applicant's application and supplemental questionnaire for satisfaction of minimum qualifications (pass/not pass); and for educational coursework, training, experience, knowledge, and abilities which relate to this position. Each applicant will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Relevance of work history, related experience, and achieved level of education and/or training as described in the application and responses to the supplemental questions.
Candidates demonstrating possession of the minimum qualifications will be placed on an employment list in order of most qualified to least qualified based on the achieved score received in the Application & Supplemental Questionnaire Appraisal Examination. Scores may be adjusted based on such factors as number of candidates, anticipated vacancies, past practice, and natural breaks in the scores achieved by this group of candidates.


It is the policy of law enforcement and legal offices and departments, in the County of Sonoma, that that job candidates complete a thorough background investigation process prior to employment. This policy is imperative in order to keep the departments employees and the public safe, and to maintain high standards in the law enforcement community. Candidates referred to departments for a selection interview are typically required to sign authorization and release forms enabling such an investigation. Failure to sign prescribed forms will result in the candidate not being considered further for that vacancy. Reference information will not be made available to applicants.

The background investigation will include a thorough assessment of a candidates personal, employment, educational, criminal, and credit history. The investigation may include, but is not necessarily limited to: use of prescription and/or other drugs, reports from former employers, friends, family members, educational institutions, law enforcement agencies, credit reports, court reports, public records search, and/or other relevant sources. Candidates must be honest and forthcoming about information that may arise during the background process. Deception during any portion of this process is grounds for disqualification, even after employment.

Depending on the assignment, candidates may be required to take a pre-employment medical examination and may be required to take a polygraph examination. All candidates for law enforcement positions are required to undergo drug testing as part of the selection process. Additionally, candidates may be required to take a pre-employment psychological and physical abilities examination. The results of these examinations and the background investigation shall be confidential and shall not be available to the candidate for review. Failure to pass the background investigation will eliminate a candidate from the employment process. You may also review the to determine the requirements for this position.

Issues that arise during the investigation process will be assessed and judgment and discretion will be used to determine the employability of the candidate. Where there is evidence of a candidates past use of controlled substances, many factors shall be used to determine the employability of the individual such as pattern of use, kind of drug used, circumstances of the start of the drug use, treatment, behavior and attitude since discontinuance, etc. Please note that a history of using controlled substances does not result in automatic disqualification from the selection process. Prior to disqualifying any candidate whose profile falls within the provisions of the policy, the candidate shall be given the opportunity to present any and all evidence of mitigating facts which the candidate feels should be considered by the hiring authority.


Applications are accepted on-line at: for further information.

HR Analyst: MN
HR Technician: RR

Keywords: County of Sonoma (CA), Santa Rosa , Public Defender, Other , santa rosa, California

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