Anyone can come across a legal situation where they need to gather evidence in order to make their case, or defend themselves. In this case, contacting the police may not be much help as a police officer’s primary duty is to enforce the law, defend the public, and make arrests when needed, and all you really need is information. That’s when you can turn to a private investigator, also known as a Private Eye or Private Detective. Very often, they’re you’re best bet because a PI is a “private citizen” who does not have the same limitations placed on them that a police officer does.
A PI can talk to whomever they like as long as they are not on private property. They don’t have to identify themselves as such (called a pretext), or warn the subject about the right to remain silent. They can also take photographs and video as long as state laws are followed.
Here are five situations where you may find a PI very helpful:
You might want to put your mind at ease before you hire someone for an important position, or even before you marry them. A PI can find and examine any public records on the person in question, going about as far back as you might want, and can also perform surveillance to secretly observe and photograph the person to remove all traces of doubt about their activities.
Someone may be suing you for injury, claiming that your actions harmed them. This includes slip-and-fall claims, auto accidents, and even workers compensation claims if the person is your employee. A PI who can get pictures of an “injured” person playing football just saved you from a lawsuit.
Family and domestic conflict
You may need to prove that a child or elderly relative is being neglected or abused by a caregiver, or a former romantic partner may be behaving like a stalker. Also, if anyone in your family ever goes missing, a PI can work with law enforcement to search out evidence that may lead to resolving the case.
This is pretty much a PI specialty in itself. If you suspect that your spouse is cheating on you, you can arrange for an infidelity investigator to secretly follow them, observe them, and photograph them. The PI will also comb through social media and other online footprints to gather hard evidence for you. You may not like what you see or hear as a result of the investigation, but at least it will bring you the answers you seek, which sometimes will help your divorce case.
If you are facing any sort of court case, a PI may be very helpful in obtaining obscure and detailed evidence that can help to either prove your case against someone else or prove your own innocence. A PI can locate and interview witnesses, conduct scene investigations, and gather sources which can be beneficial for your case. Most people think that lawyers conduct this type of work, and it is possible that they do, but most smart lawyers hire the help of a Private Eye to conduct the field work.
Hiring a PI
When hiring a private investigator, you can either ask for a referral from someone you know, or look for a listing of PI agencies in your area. You should speak with the prospective PI before hiring in order to make sure you get someone who inspires confidence and with whom you feel comfortable, after all, you will be a team. A PI can be well worth the cost when your future, your family, and your livelihood are at stake.