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Investigator and Expert Program

Investigators and Expert Witnesses Program Overview

The private investigation and expert witness criminal defense support program is funded by the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission (MIDC) Act's third standard and governed by the Indigent Defense Service Department's (IDSD) Experts and Investigators Core Policy and Standardized Travel Policy (both found on our Policies & Procedures page HERE).

Expert witnesses are available to all criminal public defenders upon approved request by an IDSD Investigator/Expert Program Administrator; this is inclusive of direct felony appointed attorneys, MAACS attorneys, Neighborhood Defense Services - Detroit (NDSD) defenders, or retained attorneys with an indigency order for their client. Private investigators are available to all with the exception of NDSD as NDSD investigation is funded separately.


Investigators and Experts are available for any case severity, but use of private investigation is mandatory for Tier 1 and Tier 2 cases.

Within 48 hours of a Tier 1 or Tier 2 offense, assigned counsel should select an investigator to assist with preparing a defense unless assigned counsel chooses to opt-out with a detailed explanation on the Request for Investigator Services/Opt-Out form.