Private Investigation Activities Forbidden To Private Investigators.
Many people think private investigators are secret agents who can get whatever information they like. This is completely wrong. In many countries private investigators might have even less rights than private citizens. When hiring a private investigator, you must know what is legal and what is not, what can be achieved through special authorization and what is always prohibited, in a word what are the private investigation activities forbidden to private investigators and private detectives.
Usually these are the private investigation activities forbidden to private investigators and private detectives:
Carry a badge
In many countries, private investigators cannot carry a badge that could mislead people into thinking they are law enforcement officers. In some cases, private investigators will wear badges that indicate they are private detectives and they might work jointly with local law enforcement. In some other countries, such as in Italy, private investigators are obliged to assist law enforcement officers if requested to do so.
Make an arrest
In most countries, private investigators are not authorized to make an arrest. However, in some countries it is possible for any citizens to make an arrest under certain specific circumstances, for example when an individual is committing a homicide or endangering the public. This is also possible in Canada, Italy and the United States.
Trespass a private property and take pictures
Private investigators must have permission for trespassing private residential properties and offices. In case of a criminal defense investigation, private investigators might be allowed to enter a private property or office for conducting a site survey if authorized by the magistrate in charge of the case. In some jurisdictions such as Italy, taking pictures in a public place, e.g. a coffee shop, is prohibited without the consent of the owner of the shop. Even taking pictures from outside a property by the use of high technology means is considered a violation of the law.
Wiretap a phone conversation
Private investigators are prohibited from wiretapping, monitoring phone conversations or computers communications, without consent from at least one of the individuals. In some countries it is possible to record a conversation if at least one party agrees to do so. In some other countries both parties in the conversation should provide their consent. Even law enforcement officers cannot wiretap phones unless they have been authorized by the magistrate in charge of the investigation and in Panama for example the authorization has to be given by the Supreme Court.
Get bank accounts information
It is possible for private investigators to locate a bank account of an individual through a proper investigation, however they cannot access specific information about these bank accounts. In some countries, this could be possible in case of a criminal defense investigation, but it would be really difficult to do it due to the fact that banks protect their clients. Unless there is a court order or the private investigator has obtained permission from the bank account holder, it will not be possible to get specific information such as the name of the beneficial owner or a list of all transactions.
Get criminal records
Private investigators in some countries could be allowed access to criminal records, depending on the type of investigation. In most cases such information is not public so access is restricted to law enforcement officers.
Get phone records
Private investigators cannot access the list of incoming and outgoing phone calls unless they are authorized by the court or they are conducting a criminal defense investigation. In such investigations thought it would also be possible to get the closer network cell thus tracing the movements of the target.
Get credit reports
In most countries credit reports are considered private information and thus without the consent of the individual owner of that information, private investigators cannot access such information.
It is to remember that information obtained through illegal methods cannot be used in court and in such case the client would only have spent money for nothing. Therefore be aware of what a detective cannot do.
If you need to collect evidence for your case and need to do it in a professional and legal way, you can contact ISOG private investigators and private detectives to know what are the private investigation activities forbidden.
ISOG private investigators and private detective can advice you on how to achieve your goal without breaching the law.