Private Investigators are licensed professionals who take their jobs very seriously. That includes remaining on the right side of the law. The discrepancy between expectations from movies and reality sometimes leads to confusion for clients.
Can a Private Investigator Go on Private Property?
No, private investigators do not have any special rights going on private property. Like other civilians, they need to be invited in by the property owner to legally be there, otherwise, they are trespassing.
A few states have special exemptions that affect private investigators. However, these are very limited. For example, a PI may be legally allowed to enter private property if working as a process server. However, there are no states that allow investigators to enter a house or other property to gather evidence.
Keep in mind that the police are also limited in this regard. While they can go on private property without permission, they need to have legal cause for doing so, sometimes involving warrants and other special legal authority.
What a Private Investigator Can Do
This may leave you wondering what a private investigator can and can’t do. Although private investigators can’t break the law, they can still collect information from many sources and build a case. For example, a PI may work on the following:
- Background checks for employers
- Financial investigations for businesses
- Security consultations
- Finding a mission person
- Investigating a worker’s compensation claim
- Gathering evidence to support a legal case
In other words, people have many different reasons to want an investigation conducted. From businesspeople to jilted spouses, people of all sorts hire private investigators to help them gather information.
Private investigators principally gather information from publicly available sources. However, they also have convenient access to other information such as running license plate numbers.
Advantages of Working With a Private Investigator
Although the legal powers of private investigators are more limited than many people imagine, that does not impede their ability to conduct investigations. Some people may think that they can do everything a PI can do. However, this isn’t the case. These are some of the reasons you may want to hire a private investigator:
- Special Access to Information: As mentioned above, investigators are licensed professionals. This helps them access public records more easily. Private detectives can often gather information that you would either have difficulty accessing or may not be able to collect at al.
- Investigative Insight: This is what truly sets PIs apart. Investigators have extensive experience looking into criminal and civil matters. They are able to connect the dots in ways that wouldn’t occur to inexperienced civilians. Many PIs are former law enforcement officers and security experts. They have the insight to know what to look for and to quickly determine what it means.
- Key Relationships: As mentioned, a PI may have previously worked in the police force or with other officials. These associations can help private investigators to get insider insight that may be harder to obtain for people without those relationships. This can often be critical to resolving a case in a timely manner.
- Creative Information Collection: While PIs don’t do what you see in the movies, they are nonetheless skilled investigators. Many have creative and unique ways of gathering information. This may involve knowing how to convince others to share what they know or knowing how to be in the right place at the right time.
- Dedicated Investigation: One of the biggest benefits of hiring a PI has nothing to do with his or her skills. Investigations take time and dedication. Hiring a private investigator to handle the case for you means that you don’t have to waste your time and energy spinning your wheels. Instead, you can have some skilled and dedicated working the issue for you.
Private investigators are skilled professionals who can help you gather information about a diverse array of cases. If you have something you want to learn more about, consider hiring a PI.
The Professional Edge
If your investigative needs are serious, hire someone who is serious about helping you. Now that you understand a little more about what private investigators can do, you will likely have more success hiring the right one. If you need services from a private investigator in NYC, consider contacting Beau Dietl & Associates. We have over 30 years’ experience in a variety of investigative and security services and can help you get the answers you need.