What is DITA?
DITA (an acronym for Defense Investigators Training Accreditation) was established by vote of the Board of Directors of the Defense Investigators Association in 1998. DITA provides certificated training in criminal defense investigations. DITA classes address the skills and knowledge essential to provide competent investigation on behalf of the defense in criminal cases. The DITA committee members studied a wide variety of issues and topics to identify classes that they considered to be necessary training for criminal defense investigators.
The Certificate Program
The Certificate Program consists of four classes. Upon satisfactory completion of the four classes, the student earns the Certificate in Criminal Defense Investigations. Those students successfully completing all four classes will be awarded the Certificate in Criminal Defense Investigation.
Each class is presented in an intensive workshop setting, with students spending four to five days in a classroom setting, and includes thirty hours of required class participation. The classes may not be audited, and students must attend all classes in order to get credit for the individual course, and to earn credit toward the Certificate.
The DITA classes are as follows:
D.I.T.A. I: INTRODUCTION TO DEFENSE INVESTIGATIONS
This class covers the evolution of criminal defense, the role of the investigator, case organization, time management, note taking and report writing, interviewing skills and techniques, and testifying skills. A minimum of thirty hours of class time, homework assignments, and a final exam are required components of the class.
D.I.T.A. II: CASE DEVELOPMENT AND PROCEDURES
This class covers subpoenas, records and resources, rules of evidence and motions, laws of arrest, confessions and admissions, search and seizure, locating witnesses, photography, jury instructions, juvenile dependency and delinquency law, and codes and rules. A minimum thirty hours of class time, homework assignments, and a final exam are required components of the class.
D.I.T.A. III: COMMUNICATIONS FOR THE INVESTIGATOR
This class covers ethics for investigators including related attorney ethics, cultural awareness and sensitivity, informants and snitches, mental health issues, investigator safety issues, interagency resources and relations, and computers in the workplace. Students will read a book chosen from a list provided upon registration and are required to write a paper based on instructor’s direction. A minimum of thirty hours of class time, homework assignments, and a final exam are required components of the class.
D.I.T.A. IV: INVESTIGATIVE SCIENCES AND TECHNOLOGY
This class covers computers as an investigative tool, firearms, forensics including but not limited to blood spatter evidence, medical examination of sexual abuse victims, ballistics, gunshot residue, toxicology, and bite mark evidence. A minimum of thirty hours of class time, homework assignments, and a final exam are required components of the class.
The D.I.T.A. courses are currently being evaluated and the Board of Directors is making a determination whether it is best to offer these courses in conjunction with a college or as a stand alone certification program through D.I.A. More information will be posted as this evaluation is completed.