Private detectives, a.k.a. private investigators, detectives or investigation agents, are people who are able to hire themselves out by the day, week or month to undertake investigative endeavors. Most private investigators work for lawyers in civil and criminal matters. Private detectives may also work independently, assisting businessmen and women in businesses to solve legal problems. Private detectives are usually experts in a particular area and have the knowledge base to help you with your problems.
Private detectives have different methods of doing their work. Some specialize in surveillance or computer forensics. Computer forensics is the application of technology to uncover evidence from computers, cell phones and other electronic media. A private detective who specializes in computer forensics may conduct surveillance or interview subjects that are suspects in a case.
Some detectives conduct surveillance of business properties and offices, gathering information about the comings and goings of employees and clients. Others may call on people suspected of wrongdoing, such as tax fraudsters or corrupt public officials. Business owners often hire private detectives to conduct investigations into employee theft or misuse of company resources. Video cameras are sometimes used to further investigate potential crimes.
Investigators can interview people and collect information without making phone calls. They may ride around in a car, follow someone, or sneak around behind a target. Private detectives may follow a subject around or follow them around. If they suspect a subject of wrongdoing, they can do a thorough investigation. For example, if a suspected fraudster made phone calls, the detective could use technology to monitor his or her calls.
Private detectives may work independently or for law firms. Many attorneys hire investigators to provide secretarial services for their clients in complex cases. Legal investigators can also specialize in complex cases, such as child molestation or intellectual property theft. They often work alone but if they are working for a law firm, they work together with other criminal investigators.
Private investigators hired by government agencies like the FBI, CIA, or IRS usually perform secretarial services. These professionals are able to keep in touch with target clients and obtain important information without making personal contact with the target. Sometimes they interview witnesses and acquire physical evidence that is difficult to obtain through traditional investigative methods.
Computer forensics is an important element of most private investigations. Corporate investigators must obtain digital evidence, such as emails, hard drives, and documents. They often analyze computer files and restore erased files. Corporate investigators must have a strong background in legal research, computer forensics, and criminal justice to perform these types of investigations.
Private detectives employed by government agencies such as the CIA or FBI to obtain and evaluate physical evidence that is difficult to obtain by other investigative techniques. This may include extracting DNA samples from someone. Some investigators specialize in investigating serious crime. In this case, they investigate not only specific crimes but usually the cases of all victims. If the investigator investigates financial fraud, he would be considered an investigative serious crime investigator.
A surveillance investigator is responsible for gathering intelligence that will enable them to identify the source of a communication. Gathering intelligence is not the same as surveillance. A surveillance investigator tracks a computer or voice by using various techniques. They use monitoring devices and video equipment to obtain records from a computer or phone.
A private detective is a member of a specialized team that includes a team leader, a private investigator, a computer specialist, a communications professional, and a customer service representative. The investigation of a case is generally started by gathering initial information. The information is then used to develop an appropriate investigative strategy. The ultimate goal of a private investigation is to obtain evidence that will help in the resolution of an issue or bring a suspect to justice. Private investigation is a very important part of the public criminal law enforcement process.
Requirements vary among states. Each state has its own specific laws and regulations regarding private investigations and the qualifications of private investigators. In general, private investigators must be licensed in each state in which they work. Requirements vary among states; however, most require private investigators to have a degree in criminal justice, police science, or a related field.
Private detectives are needed by businesses and corporations to perform routine background investigations and select the most effective people for employment, business dealings, and new contacts. Employers and business owners rely on their intuition when making decisions. Often, the best decision is made based on gut feelings. However, sometimes even good decisions can be compromised by poor decisions based on gut feelings. Private investigators help employers and corporations to ensure that they are hiring the best people for the job, who possess the knowledge and skills required to perform the tasks at hand, and who are unlikely to use or disclose sensitive information obtained in the course of conducting these duties.