What do private investigators actually do?
W We are all very familiar with private investigators since they are frequently portrayed in various movies, television shows, and comic books. Private Investigators are hired by their clients to conduct investigations and gather information for all different types of cases, but what they actually do can be a little different from what we have in mind. We can clearly understand what their job is about when we see how they work for litigation cases. Judges, lawyers, and prosecutors often hire private investigators when they need to come up with a solution.
Why hiring private investigators?
T The legal administrative duties are divided and given to different positions in order to promote efficiency. In a criminal case, the job of the district attorney is to apply the law to the case and look for precedents. It is the district attorney detective’s job to collect all the necessary evidence and witness statements. On the other side, the defendant’s lawyer takes care of the legal matters and hires a private investigator to collect necessary evidence from outside the office. Any lawyer who has worked as a district attorney before opening a law office likes to hire a private investigator for both civil and criminal cases because the district attorneys are used to working with detectives. Private investigators who have worked for the police are fully aware of what they are expected to do. However, attorneys who have not worked for government agencies might not be familiar with this method and working with private investigators. These attorneys rely on the statements collected from their clients only because they themselves will not do the work of a private investigator. It is probably because they lack the experience and knowledge of working with private investigators or it could be related to the cost of hiring private investigators. However, it is definitely worth hiring a private investigator in order to collect compelling evidence and speed up the entire process.
Who can be private investigators?
A Although each state has different requirements, it is generally easier for retired police officers to be certified as private investigators. All the necessary investigation techniques cannot be acquired without sufficient training and experience. Private investigators should know how the legal system works in the United States and be familiar with all the legal procedures, related statutes, and operating systems and organization of the government agencies.
Eligibility Requirements for “Certified” Private Investigators
P Private Investigators should be “certified,” and the eligibility requirements are quite strict, especially in the state of New York. Those who are applying to be Private Investigators must have at least three years of full-time investigative experience as an investigator for a government investigative agency or police agency, or 20 years of service as a police officer. The applicants should pass the license examination and verify their character by providing witnesses. Once they are certified, they receive a variety of benefits such as medical insurance along with the retirement pension. However, they can lose all of these benefits when they are convicted of perjury. Therefore, private investigators do not risk their own careers for someone else by providing false statements or reports.
PI as Witness at the Court
I It is actually quite a challenge to secure witnesses for trials. When initially asked, witnesses generally say that they are willing to testify, but a lot of things are uncertain until the trial date is set. It might take 3 to 5 years to get to the trial. During this time, the relationship between the litigant and potential witnesses might change. Or the potential witness might move to a far place or become unreachable for personal reasons. This is why private investigators are perfect candidates to be witnesses. In other words, they are “professional” witnesses. Even after 5 years, they will still show up when they are required to do so. The statements collected by the private investigators can be submitted as evidence without having a witness present as long as the private investigator is present at the court.
Private Investigators as Messenger
W When there is an ongoing dispute, it is not wise for the litigants to directly communicate with one another. Having another conversation can lead to an extra problem. It is possible to use some socially respected figures or religious leaders to mediate disputes, but it is not realistic when dealing with personal disputes. In that case, the private investigator can work as a messenger by listening to both parties and delivering the messages between the parties. The private investigators can even provide some advice and might be able to help find a solution between the parties.
Private Investigators Can Report a Crime for You
I It is not easy to report illegal activities to the corresponding agencies as a civilian for several reasons. You might feel threatened since there might be potential risks if it is later found that you are the one who reported the crime. Or it could be burdensome or scary for someone who is not familiar with the law. Or if you do not have concrete evidence, things can easily become much more complicated. In any case, you could hire a private investigator to report such crimes. Private investigators are experts in preparing necessary evidence and they know how, when, and where to submit it. You do not have to reveal your identity when you hire a private investigator. However, you cannot hire a private investigator just for the sake of reporting a crime for you. Also, keep in mind that the private investigators have the discretionary authority to report any crimes when they detect illegal activities of individuals or organizations while investigating for their clients.
Private Investigators Can Gather Evidence
I In court, how evidence was obtained is as important as the evidence itself. Therefore, all of the evidence needs to be verified and how it was found, kept, and filed is very important. In order to submit evidence to the court, there should not be any illegality involved in the process, and the person who is submitting it should not have any legal problems. If the evidence was illegally obtained, it will not be accepted at the court. Furthermore, the person who submitted it might be punished. Usually, civilians might not be able to tell if a certain action is legal or not, but private investigators clearly know if something is legal or illegal. The outcome of each trial depends on what evidence each party is able to present. This does not necessarily mean who has more evidence, but rather, who has stronger evidence. The client does not have to use every piece of evidence. He or she can select which evidence that is more favorable for his or her position.
Private Investigators Can Tell You What is Needed to Win!
T The cost of hiring a private investigator is close to that of hiring an average paralegal. However, the network, knowledge, experience, and wisdom from working as a police officer or investigator are undeniably valuable. Lawsuits cost a lot of money, and the total amount does not change whether you pay your attorney, paralegals, or private investigators. The importance of hiring private investigators cannot be emphasized enough. It will definitely save a lot of time and money because you can probably predict the outcome beforehand by consulting with a private investigator. They can tell you what is needed to win a particular case. If the expected outcome is negative, there is no reason to begin a lawsuit. That is why you need to understand the role of a private investigator.
Private Investigators Have the Fiduciary Duty
P Private Investigators have the fiduciary duty for their clients. This means that they should work for the best interest of their clients and keep all information and communications confidential.