Investigation vs Interrogation
Though the fans of detective shows are well acquainted with the terms investigation and interrogation, if someone asks them to tell the difference between investigation and interrogation, they may draw a blank. This is particularly because, the two words sound similar and, although some of us might have a basic understanding of each term, there is room for confusion. However, there is a difference between investigation and interrogation in the nature of each term. In fact, interrogation falls within the purview of investigation and constitutes one component of an investigation. Let’s examine their definitions in order to distinguish the two terms.
What is Investigation?
The dictionary defines the term investigation as the action of investigating something or someone, the process of investigating, or the systematic inquiry or examination conducted in order to discover facts. In law, particularly in the criminal justice process, it is defined as the study of facts used to identify, search and prove the guilt of an offender or criminal. An investigation is thus a process, one which closely studies or examines a crime scene or gathered evidence, and analyses and determines the motives and methods of the suspected offenders. This is executed through a variety of tasks; namely, questioning witnesses, interrogating suspects, employing new scientific techniques by way of forensic examination, searching premises, and examining financial and other related documents. Typically, law enforcement authorities such as the police, military forces, or other intelligence units, gather information and/or evidence in order to determine if indeed a crime has been committed. They identify the offender and arrest the person, and, of course, produce sufficient proof to secure a conviction against the offender in a criminal trial.
Conducting an investigation is somewhat complex; it requires going after the facts in order to arrest a suspect for a crime. Thus, what the investigators think or feel about the case or even their judgement is irrelevant. Further, they have to be well-trained and equipped to gather only relevant information and evidence, and eliminate all other irrelevant information. This is difficult given that the information is vast and the time to determine the relevance of each piece of information is limited. Furthermore, the authorities must also ensure that their investigation is conducted in a formal and methodical manner, adhering to all procedural rules and obtaining evidence legally. If the investigation is not conducted in this manner, whatever evidence or information gathered against the offender will not be admitted as evidence at his/her trial.
What is Interrogation?
Interrogation is defined as the verbal questioning of a suspect by law enforcement authorities for the purpose of eliciting a statement or useful information. It is typically a series of questions put to a person suspected of committing a crime or indirectly involved in the commission of a crime. Interrogation is intense in that the questions put to the suspect are of a serious nature. The purpose of an interrogation is to search for answers in relation to a crime, to fill in the blanks or find the missing links in a case.
If a person is arrested and thereafter produced for interrogation, he/she is entitled to certain rights such as the right to have legal representation present during the interrogation. An interrogation is part of an investigation and should thus adhere to certain procedural standards and rules pertaining to due process. If authorities do not comply with due process or violate any procedural rules, the results of the interrogation, such as the questions and the responses, will not be admissible in court as evidence.
What is the difference between Investigation and Interrogation?
The difference between investigation and interrogation is then clear. Investigation is the overarching concept while Interrogation constitutes one component of an investigation.
• Definition of Investigation and Interrogation:
• Investigation refers to the study of facts used to identify, search, and prove the guilt of an offender or criminal.
• An interrogation refers to the verbal questioning of a suspect by law enforcement authorities for the purpose of eliciting a statement or useful information.
• Concept of Investigation and Interrogation:
• An investigation is the gathering of information and evidence in order to discover certain facts pertaining to the crime.
• An interrogation involves a series of questions put to a person suspected of committing a crime or indirectly involved in the commission of a crime.
• Examples of Investigation and Interrogation:
• An investigation entails questioning witnesses, interrogating suspects, employing new scientific techniques by way of forensic examination, searching premises, examining financial and other related documents.
• An example of interrogation includes an instance when the police bring in a person suspected of either committing the crime or associating with a person suspected of committing the crime. The police will interrogate the person to search for answers and gather useful information.
Images Courtesy: Investigation and Interrogation via Wikicommons (Public Domain)
Leave a Reply