The entertainment world often makes it look like private investigators are above the law; like they can enter any residence, hack into any computer, and track down any kind of personal or private information in a matter of minutes.
Reality is a little bit different. While a licensed private investigator can do many things to help you track down the information you're looking for, there are some things that fall outside the scope of their activity.
Here are some things your private investigator won't do:
Trespass - A private investigator can't enter any residence or property illegally. This includes breaking and entering through force as well as entering a building without the owner's express consent.
Impersonate law enforcement - Although private investigators frequently work alongside law enforcement, they cannot wear badges, uniforms, or logos that make it appear as though they are police officers or other law enforcement officials.
Tamper with mail - Just as it is for the general public, it's illegal for a private investigator to open, read, destroy, or otherwise tamper with another person's mail.
Wiretap a phone without consent - In all 50 U.S. states, when conversations are being monitored or recorded, at least one individual involved in the conversation must have knowledge of that fact. In several states, both parties must be made aware that the conversation is being monitored. A private investigator can't wiretap a phone without at least one party's direct consent.
Film someone inside a private property - While a private investigator can typically track and film a person's public activities and conversations, they are prohibited from filming a person inside a private residence (for example, through an open window).
Place a GPS tracker on a vehicle without consent - When a GPS is placed on a vehicle, the person listed as the vehicle's owner must provide direct consent.
Obtain legally protected information without consent - To access private information, such as bank accounts and transaction information, personal credit checks, and cell phone records, a private investigator must have the individual's consent and/or a warrant to obtain the information.
Hack into computer accounts or phone records - Private investigators generally have software that allows them access to metadata which provides details like where and when photos were taken and posted. However, they can't legally hack into any social media accounts, email accounts, or text message records to gain additional information.
While there are several legal limitations to a private investigator's actions, an investigator can be a tremendous asset when you're in need of information. Much of a private investigator's ability lies in his or her years of experience and access to cutting edge software. Details Investigations provides you with experienced investigators who can assist you in all types of domestic or corporate investigations. It's important to work with a private investigator you trust. Contact us today for a free consultation to determine how we can best serve you.