What is a Private Investigator?

Private investigators have a rather interesting place in society. Particularly in how the public view them. Most people’s experiences with a private investigator, or someone with their set of skills, would be through some kind of media. Whether it be through a film, book, etc. It tends to be through some form of fiction. Which, naturally, has gathered mystique around the profession, and those who hire them.

The view that the public eye has of private investigators or detectives, is an interesting one. You might hear the term private investigator and picture someone in a trench coat, lighting a cigarette to a muted trumpet in some kind of noir film. And although there are stories in which PIs are portrayed accurately, what they spend most of their time doing is not often at center stage. Unless of course the story follows from the perspective or workings of a law firm, for example. This is the realm in which private investigation spends a majority of their time.

So What is a Private Investigator?

A private investigator, sometimes referred to as a private detective or inquiry agent, is a person who works to undertake investigatory law services. An individual or group may hire them. In an informal context, they may even be referred to as a private eye. In most cases, not so often portrayed in fiction, they work for attorneys. Mostly in civil and criminals cases.

Who Do They Work For?

More often than not, PIs with special academic and practical experience work with defence attorneys. PIs generally work in capital punishment or criminal defense cases.

There are others who hire them however. Insurance companies often hire private investigators as insurance investigators. Probably on of the other biggest clients to hire a PI. Private investigators often come in to investigate suspicious claims.

Before the advent of no-fault divorce, a large number of private investigators sought evidence of adultery or other conduct within marriage. Attorneys or spouses could then use this evidence to establish grounds for divorce. In today’s age in most developed countries, fortunately, this service is no longer a necessity.

Even so, and despite the lack of legal necessity for such undertakings, collecting evidence of adultery within a marriage or partnership continues to be very lucrative work for private investigators. That aside, these surveillance services are still very much sought after for other issues or disputes within a couple. Evidence of abuse, neglect or other forms of negative behaviour, is often necessitated for court cases. In disputes such as these child custody may be at stake, as well as alimony and marital property dispiutes.

Investors also hire private investigators, for a variety of reasons. They enable the investor to perform their due diligence before entering into any form of binding agreement. This could be relevant to a business person looking to invest in an investment group, fund manager or other high-risk ventures. Private investigators will most often carry out these services to sniff out any kind of fraud, or unreliability. Licensed or experienced private investigators do their best to reveal whether an investment is risky, worthwhile or reliable.

Closing Thoughts

So there you have it. A brief summary of what private investigators are, and what they might be hired for. As well as, who often hires them. If you find yourself interested in further details on how private investigators perform their jobs, have a look at some of our previous articles. Background checks for example and the collection of evidence for presentation in court, are amongst their most notable responsibilities.

If you find yourself in need of this particular set of skills, please feel free to call us. Or simply click on this link to get in contact with one of our team members.

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