Private Investigators (PI) are hired for many different reasons. Perhaps you need information obtained for a court case, find out if your partner is cheating, or find out the credibility of someone else. Regardless of what it’s for, it’s a great tool to get answers when needed. But what are Private Investigators allowed to do and not allowed to do? We’re here to tell you. So if you’re looking into hiring one or perhaps you already have, we will leave no questions unanswered.
What Private Investigators Can Do:
Here at American Special Investigative Group, we approach every investigation with a strict ethical code of conduct. Every assignment is 100% confidential and we act lawfully in each jurisdiction where we operate. Now, let’s take a look at what PI’s can do.
- Gather evidence that leads to an arrest– while conducting surveillance if evidence is found that links to a crime, PI’s can alert their local police department, in turn that evidence can be used to convict someone
- Gather Information– social media, previous addresses, phone numbers, arrest records, etc…
- Surveillance– PI’s are allowed to follow people or conduct stakeouts to learn about their movements as long as they are on public property. (In Florida PI’s are legally allowed to go through trash as the state calls it ‘abandoned property’.)
- Interviews– allowed to question family, friends, neighbors, or associates to get more information if they choose to talk.
What Private Investigators Cannot Do:
Now of course, there are some things Private Investigators cannot do. They are not law enforcement nor above the law in any way. Everything has to be done legally and ethically, but there are TONS of ways for PI’s to get information/data without breaking laws to get the job done. Let’s take a look now at some of the things PI’s cannot do:
- Cannot arrest someone– because they are not law enforcement they cannot arrest anyone, they do have the ability to document any crime occurring and pass it onto police, a PI can do a citizen’s arrest if it is legal in their jurisdiction. (In Florida it is legal to make a citizen’s arrest.)
- Carry a badge– a PI cannot carry a badge or wear a uniform because it could lead to someone believing they are law enforcement which is not allowed.
- Trespass on private property– PI’s are only allowed on public property, they cannot enter on private property without permission.
- Wiretapping– Depending on your state there are certain regulations on wiretapping, one-party of two-party consent. One-party means a PI can record without the other person knowing, two-party means if a PI is listening and there are two people talking they cannot record what they are saying. (Florida is a two-party consent state.)
Don’t let what Private Investigators can’t do stop you from getting one if you need it. Our professional investigative experts can help for a number of different services. Specializing in solutions to complex legal, person, or business challenges without breaking laws or ethical codes of conduct. Reach out today to find out how one of our Private Investigators can help you.