More and more people are enlisting the professional help of a private investigator to assist them with very important personal matters, which might be of use for court proceedings as well. And through various cases, especially pertaining to divorce and fraud hearings, the information provided by private investigation lends to a more powerful case. But are all of the findings of a private investigator valid for use in court?
Are Such Findings Admissible in Court?
The first thing to understand about private investigators is that they are private citizens and therefore not governed by the Fourth Amendment. This means that whatever information they gather through legal means can be considered as admissible evidence in court proceedings. It is true that PIs do have better means and techniques in which they acquire information, but it is done without violating any law. In other words, they can easily be seen as any other eyewitness with more in-depth accounts and testimonies from a legal standpoint.
When Does Information/Evidence Become Illegal?
Take note that while evidence presented by PIs can be admissible in court, not all of it is legal—especially those acquired while breaking the law. Instances wherein a PI taps a phone line, installs hidden cameras and so on, would have been considered as evidence acquired illegally and would not be admissible in court. However, if the people being monitored were conversing in public and a PI appears to eavesdrop on the conversation to gather information, then that would have been acceptable because the people involved don’t have an expectation of privacy.
Private investigators are not above the law. Once PIs have been proven to take on illegal means to get evidence, then not only would they lose credibility, they would also get into trouble with the law as well. A good and reliable private investigator must have the proper resources and means to acquire the required information, as well as the integrity while doing so.
What Are the Advantages of Private Investigators?
But then again you may ask, if they’re just considered as regular private citizens, why even hire them in the first place? There are four reasons for doing so: anonymity, time, freedom, and experience. Some of which you may have, but you may also lack the other important components.
For one, people you want to be observed and followed would find you suspicious had you done it yourself. PIs have the uncanny ability to look like an uninterested third party regardless of the situation and circumstances, which is beneficial for when they gather top-secret information. PIs have the time to do investigating because it’s what they do for a living. If you need someone followed around all day, a regular person wouldn’t really have the time and resources for it, but PIs can give it their full attention. Investigators also have more freedom in comparison to officials bound by the legal system. Police officers need warrants; attorneys also have codes of conduct to strictly adhere to as well. And lastly, private investigators are hired primarily for their experience. They are trained in the area and are less likely prone to commit any non-professional errors that might negatively affect a delicate situation, such as a court case.
Should You Hire A Private Investigator?
Now the question is, should you actually hire a private investigator for your situation? If it is of crucial importance to you and the court proceeding you’re involved in, then do consider investing in a professional private investigation company. If you’re not too sure about it, you can easily approach one and seek out a free consultation first just to have an estimate of what needs to be done and how much you should expect to pay the services.