Next up on our Investigator Spotlight is Investigator Miranda Whealan. Miranda took a few minutes out of her schedule to answer a few questions for us.
What made you want to become a Private Investigator?
MW: After completing my internship with the Metropolitan police department in Washington D.C., I learned quickly that I was intrigued by the investigation aspect of policing, but wasn’t too sure if I wanted to be a police officer. After conducting some research on other career paths in the criminal justice field, I learned about being a Private Investigator. At the time I didn’t even know that being an investigator for the defense side was even a thing. As I was getting closer to graduating with my bachelor’s degree, I began job hunting and came across a bilingual investigator opportunity with CIS. Nanette had called me a day later after submitting my application and we talked on the phone for some time. She asked me if I knew what I was applying for, and at the time, I thought I knew. I didn’t know that being a Criminal Defense Investigator would be as rewarding as it is. Fighting to defend constitutional rights and educating our people of their rights. Finding evidence that may prove innocence
What do you feel it takes to be a Private Investigator?
MW: To be a great private investigator you need to be disciplined. You need to be organized, and posses creativity. In order to be successful in this field I have learned that you need to be fearless and at times have thick skin. You need to be able to blend in with different levels of education and population groups. You need to have great writing skills and take good notes, especially if your reports will be read and/ or handled in court. You need to be a quick thinker and clear speaker when asking questions and conducting interviews. You should absolutely have knowledge on the laws of your state and have a clear understanding of the U.S Constitution.
What is your favorite part of being a Private Investigator?
MW: My favorite part about being a private investigator and specifically a criminal defense investigator is finding out the truth, getting the facts and gathering the evidence, whether it is good or bad. I truly enjoy talking to witnesses and making the interview process as inviting as I possibly can. I acknowledge that some individuals endure some serious trauma and although I maintain bias during all of my investigations, I am still an empathetic person. At this point in my career and receiving a promotion in 2018 at CIS as the Lead Investigator/Supervisor, I truly enjoy when my colleagues ask me for advice and what I would do in certain situations which shows they value my opinion. I really love working along my superior Nanette Cabral, because truthfully when we put our heads together our investigations are a force to be reckoned with. But most importantly, I love that I can be fully dedicated at work and still maintain a normal home life.
When you’re not working cases, what are some things you like to do?
MW: When I am not working cases I am 100% being attentive to my daughter and spending quality time with her. I do enjoy spending time with friends and family as well.
Who were your role models growing up?
MW: Personally my role models would definitely have to be my mom, and my aunt and uncle that raised me. My mom was a young mother but always pushed herself to her fullest potential and persevered with everything she has ever done. She has always instilled in me that I can do anything I set my mind to and has always reminded me that no one is going to give me what I want unless I go get it and make it happen for myself. I started working at age 15, and was raised knowing the importance of having great work ethics.
My aunt and uncle have always treated me like pure gold. As if I was the greatest thing on this earth. They instilled in me to always be confident, to always remain humble, and to never forget the journey in which I took to get where I wanted to be. To always want more and to strive for better.
As for a fictional role model, Captain Olivia Margaret Benson is a fictional character on the NBC police procedural drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, portrayed by Mariska Hargitay. I have always loved her character because she is a woman in a male-dominated field -and excels profoundly as a woman leader in power in Law Enforcement.
What is your favorite television show or movie related to being a Private Investigator?
MW: Chicago PD and Law and Order -SVU
What is the most dangerous case you’ve worked on?
MW: I have a few that I can think of. Most recently probably a murder case that was severely broadcasted on the news, as well as a gang related matter that was also broadcasted on the news and social media. You never really know what you are going to be getting yourself into, the people you are going to encounter, their mental state, or if there is anyone ready to retaliate
What do films and television shows get wrong about being a Private Investigator?
MW: There is more to being a PI than just sitting in a car and following someone. There are different branches in the investigation field. On TV I feel that the characters portray strength and determination to getting the facts, in which that is absolutely true. What’s not portrayed is how we deal with our day to day lives when we go home after our shifts are over. Often times cases can weigh heavy on your mind, its important to have a strong support system at home.
What is your favorite thing about working for CIS?
MW: The fact that Nanette is willing to train without a lot of years of experience. She took a chance on me as a new grad and I have grown so much due to the opportunity I was given.
Any advice to young girls out there thinking about going into criminal justice today?
MW: Do it! Do not feel discouraged and don’t let the thought of it being a male dominated field steer you away from pursuing a career in CJ. When I first started college I was often times one of the only girls in my classes. I had people telling me ” are you sure you want to pursue this field, a little blonde 5’2 whose going to take you seriously”. Well, here I am, I was accepted into a full semester competitive internship program in Washington DC, Interning with a well known police department (Metropolitan PD), I landed a PI job before I even graduated with my degree because I was proactive on being prepared after graduation, I became a Certified Forensic Interviewer from CDITC, I worked my way up and became a lead Investigator and Supervisor of a Private Detective Agency, I have worked with well known Criminal Defense Attorneys and have been interviewed on TV regarding work that was done. Needless to say, is DO IT! If anything make your self proud. At the end of the day the only person who truly has your back is yourself.
It is our hope with this blog to help answer questions, concerns and give a little insight into what Cabral Investigation Services is about. Feel free to give us a call for a free consultation at 857-417-2053 or shoot us an email. If there is a topic or concern you’d like to see addressed on our blog, send an email on over to cd@cabralinvestigationservices