Man presses investigations button on a virtual graphical user interface.

People may hire a private investigator for any number of reasons. Here are several:

You may decide to hire a private investigator if you’re paying alimony to someone who has drifted outside the restrictions put on them by the courts. If you suspect your spouse is cheating, you may decide to hire a private investigator. Or if you’re pursuing a divorce, you may feel you need evidence to prove the grounds upon which you are basing your divorce (or find out if you truly want to divorce your partner at all).

Here are several categories that define the boundaries regarding what can and cannot be done by a private investigator.

Searching for Clues By Listening

If only more people knew, that by listening, an entirely new world of truths and untruths can be discovered! Private investigators know this more than anyone. They are, in fact, extraordinarily talented at listening skills. During their preparation, they become all too familiar with this property.

  • Can Do: While on a case, they can listen in on someone.
  • Can’t Do: Unless approved by the courts, however, they cannot participate in wiretapping any individual or group.

There Are Some Benefits to Lying

Ordinarily and generally speaking, it would be hard for the average person to legally get into a conversation with someone by misleading them. That said, while investigating a critical suspect, investigators may need to coax someone into a conversation so that they can uncover issues they may be experiencing, concealed information, extreme behavior, etc. 

  • Can Do: When involvement in confusing cases is in question, lying may be part of the process used in order to get someone talking. Naturally, social media and other Internet sites are not the place to discuss any obtained data that may have been uncovered in an interrogatory meeting.
  • Can’t Do: However, to unravel a case issue, private investigators cannot mimic an officer of the law.

Open Public Property Presence

Sometimes private investigators have to hang out in a location to watch, listen, record, etc. the conversations and activities of another person.

  • Can Do: In order to find out a secret or discover evidence, as much energy as needs to be invested, and/or a presence for as long as they need to remain, can be executed in an open property by an investigator. 
  • Can’t Do: However, unless they have a request from the court, they cannot trespass on private property.

Arresting Capabilities

Generally speaking, private investigators do not have authority to make an arrest – at least no more than any other citizen.

Can Do: As much as any ordinary citizen, a private investigator can attempt a “citizen’s arrest”. It must be within a jurisdiction considered illegal to them. Some states forbid this, while others allow it. A PI can only, until arresting police arrive, detain the individual. They cannot take them to jail.

Additionally, regarding the crime that is occurring, a PI can document it, as long as the PI is not breaking any laws. They would, of course, notify the police so they could show up on the scene and make an official arrest.

Can’t Do: In the name of the law, a private investigator cannot make an official police arrest.

Is It Time to Hire a Private Investigator?

Probity Investigations has an expert team of specialists. In many infidelities, divorces, alimony cases, etc., they have been instrumental. You never know when you may find yourself in need of a private investigator. You may need one right now!

To set up a free consultation, contact us today.