DIA Spotlight:

Events and info for Defense Investigators

DIA Members,

First and foremost, I hope you are all okay during these difficult times.  The DIA Board is well aware of the air of uncertainty in our current times in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.  We also realize that defense investigators are on the front lines of the fight for justice and that our jobs are not merely put on hold despite everything going on.  As a Board we wish to assure all of our members that we are monitoring this situation closely, we will pass on pertinent information as it becomes known to us, and we will disseminate information as others pass it on to us.

All DIA functions are on hold at this time including membership recruitment notices, our Annual Seminar, DITA Courses as well as One Day Training Sessions.  We will be rescheduling all events once the outbreak is contained and we are certain it is safe to proceed.  This will likely mean that our events will occur later in the year than usual, however, when it is safe to proceed, we will proceed full steam ahead.  We will keep you, our members, posted as we learn more.  Right now, we feel the best course of action is to wait and see how this develops.

In the meantime, we do not want to sit on our hands.  We understand that that events arising from this outbreak have potential to have profound effects on our members.  We currently have a network of over 300 members.  Each of these 300 members has their own network of contacts outside the Association.  These networks can be of great assistance to people who are in need.  If any DIA Member finds they are in a situation where they need assistance, please contact us.  We can share the information with our Member network who can then share it with their networks.  With these resources, we can most assuredly help you find the assistance you may need. 

Please make use of this network and contact us at  or  and we will disseminate the info to our network in the hopes we can help find a solution to your situation.  These email addresses are monitored regularly and an answer can be expected in less than 24 hours. 

Again, our Board as well as other association members care very deeply about our members and others in the Criminal Defense Investigation field.  We are here to help as much as possible.  Please take care of yourselves and your loved ones.  Respectfully submitted on behalf of your DIA President and all the entire board,  

 Elizabeth Aguilar, DIA President 



About Us

In 1966, Investigators from various California Public Defender offices created the Defense Investigators Association (DIA).

Training / Seminars

DIA conducts professional training in the area of criminal defense. Annual seminars and the Defense Investigators Training Academy (DITA) offer training opportunities in a variety of investigative subjects.


DIA membership includes “Active” and “Associate” members. Benefits include discounts to association training, the association newsletter and access to a network of criminal defense professionals.

DIA News

Information that interests and affects investigators…










Investigator of the Year


The DIA likes to recognize Defense Investigators who exemplify the work ethic and passion it takes to pursue justice for our clients. Our profession attracts the best and the brightest, not to mention those with big hearts. Please nominate someone who you feel meets these standards of excellence!

Police Misconduct Information

State Supreme Court rules that law enforcement agencies can share misconduct information about officers with prosecutors, making such info available to defense as Brady materials, supplementing SB 1421. Pitchess still applies.

DIA Single Day Seminars!

All DIA members can participate for FREE!

Social Media Seminars were a hit in 2019.  Keep an eye out for our 1-Day Seminars in 2020 with special speakers from the DMV.  You may have access, but there is a wealth of information and it's important to know how to decipher it.

Not a member? Well then, you're out of luck... that is unless you join as an active or associate member today!

Membership link

Orange County Jail Snitch Scandal

In 2015, California State Attorney General’s office opened an investigation into both Orange County Sheriff's Department and the District Attorney's Office.  The U.S. Department of Justice followed suit the next year. Orange County prosecutors were kicked off Dekraai’s cases and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit accusing authorities of having deployed “professional” informants for decades.

DIA Log - Preview

DIA's official newsletter.

Social Media Companies Ordered to Provide Private Posts

In an unprecidented move, Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter have been ordered to provide private posts in a San Francisco gang related murder trial.

DITA I - Los Angeles County


DITA has been POSTPONED due to COVID-19 concerns

The next DITA module will be in Monterey Park/Rosemead, the week of March 23-27. This course covers core skills for investigators of all levels of experience.  This module also offers practical experience beyond the classroom setting with mock interviewing, report writing review, and mock testimony.

Each DITA module is an intensive workshop where students spend 5 days for a total of 30 hours of required class participation. DITA modules may be taken in any order. Classes may not be audited.

Classes are taught by subject matter experts, criminal defense attorneys, and investigators.  Upon satisfactory completion of the four modules, the student earns the Certificate in Criminal Defense Investigations.  

DITA graduates are welcome to attend specific dates and pay à la carte rates.  Keep an eye out for ADVANCED DITA, details coming soon!

DIA 2019-2021 Exective Board

Get to know your DIA representatives:
DIA President Elizabeth Aguilar, L.A. County
DIA Vice President Ron Weber, Tulare County
DIA Secretary/Treasurer Marisa Berg, San Bernardino County

As well as our Regional Boards

Northern Board: Suzanne La Mar-Schaeck, Daniel Malasavanh, Jeremy Maurer, Jerry Maya (past president), Nigel Phillips, & Danielle Thompson 
Southern Board: Pascual Benitez, Erick Castellanos, Randy Later, Leticia Macias, Krysta Rogala, & Erika Thompson
If you're interested in assisting your DIA Board, or have any suggestions, you can contact us at

Contact Us

PO Box 124961 
San Diego, CA 92112

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