DITA was established by the DIA Board to provide structured training similar to the California POST that law enforcement are required to attend, but with a focus on the work of Defense Investigators which entails various legal, forensic, and investigative areas.

DITA was conceived and first planned out by LaWanda Lyons-Pruit from Santa Barbara County as well as Jean & Scott Dittmyer from San Diego County.  The first course was held in conjunction with the 1999 Spring DIA Seminar.   The Defense Investigators Training Academy has been going strong over 25 years and has certified 225 investigators!

learn more about the Next Course

September 23-27
San Diego, CA

Registration & Information coming soon


DITA (an acronym for Defense Investigator Training Academy) was established by vote of the Board of Directors of the Defense Investigators Association in 1998. DITA provides certified 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 modules. Upon satisfactory completion of the four modules, the student earns the Certificate in Criminal Defense Investigations
Each module is presented in an intensive workshop setting. Students will spend four to five days in a classroom setting that includes thirty hours of required class participation. Students must attend all classes in order to get credit for the module. DITA modules may be taken in any order. Classes may not be audited. The DITA modules are as follows:

Core Pillars of Defense Investigations

  • Evolution of Criminal Defense
  • Role of the Investigator
  • Interviewing Skills & Techniques
  • Note Taking and Report Writing
  • Testifying Skills
  • Reciprocal Discovery
  • Case Organization
  • Time Management
  • Mock experience
Planned for 2026

Case Development and Procedures

  • Criminal Procedure
  • Admissibility of Evidence
  • Investigating Police Misconduct
  • Subpoenas, SDT’s & Subpoena Service
  • Confessions & Admissions
  • Locating Witnesses
  • Using Jury Instruction in Your Investigations
  • Search & Seizure
  • Juvenile Dependency/Delinquency & Investigations
September 23-27, 2024

Communication for the Investigator

  • Ethics
  • Mitigation Investigations
  • Cultural Awareness
  • Informants and Snitches
  • Social Media Investigations
  • Immigration Law
  • Mental Health
  • Investigator Safety
Planned for 2025

Investigative Sciences and Technology

  • Crime Scene Investigations: Both Classroom and Practical Exercises
  • Firearms and Ballistics
  • Photography and Videography
  • Forensic Toxicology and Pathology
  • Forensic Cell Phones Investigations
PLANNED for 2025

Check out the list of DITA graduates who have earned their Certificate in Criminal Defense Investigations


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