A private investigator, a private detective or investigation agent, is someone who is able to be employed by people, institutions or NGOs to undertake investigative activities. Private investigators are often employed by lawyers in criminal and civil cases. They also conduct investigations and provide information to financial institutions or government departments on behalf of their clients. Private investigators can be obtained from a number of sources and are available for hire in many areas.
There are different types of private investigations. Each has its own distinct set of skills and experiences that are required. These different types include corporate, missing persons, insurance claims, business practices, public record searches, financial crimes and corporate frauds. Most private investigators specialise in one or two different areas. There are many investigative agencies which employ private investigators.
US law enforcement officers are the majority of private investigators in the United States. Officers may be commissioned directly by the police department, or they may be employed through a private investigation agency. Direct commission by the police department requires a certified application and training for detectives, instructors and investigators. On the other hand, employment through an investigation agency requires no formal training but is accepted if the candidate is trained in the various methods and practices of private investigation.
Corporate investigators are usually employed by large corporations to gather evidence on a number of different occasions. For instance, if a large corporation suspects that an employee has committed theft, this investigator will conduct an investigation in order to gather evidence on the activity. He will often use surveillance methods like video cameras, GPS tracking, interviewing witnesses and gathering documents. He will also search for the evidence using computers, cell phones, private detective websites, and so on.
Private investigators are often used in child custody litigation. A judge will issue a custody order called a parenting plan after evaluating the child custody situation and determining which parent the child will stay with. To make a successful custody order, an investigator is essential. Investigators will gather information on how the child is being cared for and obtain corroborating evidence. If there is no physical evidence linking the suspected parent to the abuse, the investigator will gather information from the child or his friends.
In California, there are specific licenses required to be a private investigator. These licenses must be renewed periodically and can only be obtained from the state’s Department of Justice. To qualify for a license, the applicant must complete a criminal background check, pass a polygraph test, take a written exam, and obtain a license card. To obtain a California license, an applicant must pass a three-hour online training course.
Most private investigators require that their clients provide photographs of any potential injury or harm that will result from the proposed investigation. This is because the investigator needs to be able to take photos from all angles to help build a case. As well, most private investigators must understand the difference between digital imaging and photography. While digital imaging allows the user to take photos directly from a digital source such as a digital camera, photography requires using a medium to take photos such as film.
Private detectives may also conduct surveillance on people for other reasons. They may use surveillance to find out information about a person that a law enforcement officer would have difficulty finding on his own. Some private investigators are also hired by bail bonds companies to conduct investigations that could help them locate a missing person.
Another reason many private investigators perform surveillance is to perform credit card background checks. Performing a credit card check requires extensive legal knowledge, a lot of patience, and many hours of research. Because credit card fraud is on the rise due to weak credit histories and fraud, many investigators now perform credit card background checks to help law enforcement officials investigate and bring criminals to justice. Private detectives may also be called to serve as a translator for a court deposition or as a reporter for depositions and court hearings.
Private investigators are usually hired by law enforcement agencies to perform surveillance or investigations on someone who they suspect of committing a crime. In order to find a suspect, investigators must investigate their suspect’s history, collect information and facts, and then perform investigative interviews to determine if the person is telling the truth. After gathering information and evidence, investigators will interview the subject to gather details about the crime he or she is suspected of committing. If necessary, the investigator will obtain a search warrant from a judge and then hire a private detective to follow up on the subject. Hiring an investigator gives the law enforcement agency one more investigative tool to use in its fight against crime.
Private investigators often perform multiple types of investigations, depending upon the needs of the law enforcement agency they are working for. For example, many private investigators work for the government by conducting secret investigative operations and monitoring private citizens to determine their activities. Other private investigators work for corporations to determine whether mergers and acquisitions are proper.