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Is It Legal to Hire a Private Investigator?

Do you want to track someone’s location? Or do you want to collect evidence for an ongoing lawsuit? In any case, you should consider hiring a private investigator. Private investigators are trained detectives who work independently. They are not affiliated with the government or police department. So, you can hire them to obtain information that won’t be accessible otherwise. 

But is it legal to hire a private investigator? Yes, it is! You just need to make sure the private investigator isn’t doing something illegal. Feeling confused? Don’t worry because here’s a detailed explanation to help you understand this topic better. Read more!

What Are Private Investigators Not Allowed to Do?

Hiring a private investigator is legal around the world. However, they should carry a valid license and should operate within the country’s laws. You need to study the laws of your country and find what a private detective cannot do for you. Generally, a private investigator can’t:

Trespass a Property

While a private investigator is allowed to track locations, they can’t trespass on someone’s property. This means they can’t enter anyone’s property without consent. The investigator must ask the owner to conduct an investigation. If there are several owners of the property, the permission of one of them is sufficient for the investigator to be legally present there.

Claim to Be a Part of Law Enforcement

Private investigators are detectives who have government-approved licenses. They are not a part of the law enforcement system. So, if a private investigator claims or pretends to be a law enforcement officer, they must be arrested.  The private investigator can’t wear a badge, a uniform, or anything that might mislead people into thinking they are from the police department or a government agency. 

Record a Call

The laws of some countries prohibit recording a telephone conversation. This form of communication is supposed to stay confidential between the two people on the line. If a private investigator tries to record a call without consent, he/she is committing a crime. 

It is important to take permission from at least one participant in the phone call. If they allow, this is a legal thing to do. But if the participant has refused, the detective simply can’t obtain information from the conversation. 

Access Confidential Information 

Be it a bank account or credit information, a private investigator can’t access confidential data of anyone. They can access public criminal and civilian documents, but they can’t get private data about a person’s bank status, phone record, and other details. The investigator should have permission from either the person concerned or the court itself. 

Tamper Mail 

Mail tampering means accessing, destroying, or damaging someone’s mail. The motive might be to stop the person from getting a specific mail, or perhaps PIs may want to search through the mailbox to retrieve some information. Both of these things can’t be done by a private investigator. Tampering mail is illegal and may result in serious consequences. 

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