Private Investigations: What Are They And Are They Legal?

Posted on: 25 May 2021

Private investigations may sound like a scary and illegal thing, but there are laws that private investigators need to follow to remain within their rights.

What Is a Private Investigation?

A private investigation is an investigation conducted by a private investigator, or PI, for a client or organization that has hired them. These investigations can be conducted for a number of reasons. A common reason is to confirm infidelity is occurring in a relationship.

What Is a Private Investigator?

A private investigator is someone who is licensed by the state to conduct investigations legally. There isn't any required college education to becoming a private investigator, but most firms will want their investigators to have a bachelor's degree in a law-related field. If you plan to start your own firm, you'll only need a high school diploma. 

A lot of private investigators happen to be retired detectives or police officers who happen to already have a background, education, and training in the law field.

What Other Reasons Do Private Investigations Occur?

There are many more reasons other than infidelity. Those include:

  • Missing persons
  • Suspected child abuse
  • Suspected insurance fraud
  • Suspected employee theft
  • Background checks

Another investigation completed is process serving. This is the process of serving papers (e.g. divorce papers, subpoenas, etc) to an individual. This investigation usually involves having to find the targeted individual as they will usually hide to avoid being served. 

Who Hires Private Investigators?

Virtually anyone can hire a private investigator if they are willing to take your case. A few of the most common people to hire a PI include:

  • Private citizens
  • Law officials
  • Businesses
  • Attorneys
  • Insurance companies

What Do Private Investigators Do During a Private Investigation?

A private investigator is responsible for confirming or denying what they were hired to investigate. The tasks they do to achieve that can include:

  • Going undercover
  • Documenting investigations
  • Reporting findings to the client
  • Researching targets
  • Interviewing people

Private investigators need to be alert at all times when conducting a private investigation. They also need to be charismatic when interviewing potential witnesses so they can get the information they want. 

Are Private Investigations Legal?

Private investigations are completely legal as long as they follow the private investigation laws. It is lawful to pull and check criminal records and court documents because those are public records and are of access to everyone. 

If you want a private investigation done, reach out to an investigator.