A private investigator’s main purpose is to gather the necessary information to either confirm or disprove a claim or support the position of an attorney’s involved in a case. Examples of situations where someone might hire a private investigator include criminal defense support, civil defense, civil litigation of a claim, online fraud, insurance claims and background checks, or even finding a missing person, also known as skip tracing.
Today, investigators must be thorough in their use of the Internet and knowledgeable about computer technology, including computer forensics, online research strategies and personal/corporate asset searches. For example, they often recover deleted e-mails and documents, perform computer database searches or track online activity. A private investigator frequently has a law enforcement background to successfully carry out the investigation and research required to complete the assignment, as well as experience with evidence gathering, statements / interviews and videography / photography of crime scenes, evidence and people.
While companies and individuals hire private investigators for myriad reasons, often they are the most effective way to obtain the intelligence required to either prove or disprove information. From a murder defense to an adoptee finding a biological parent—and everything in between—private investigators can dedicate the time and resources required to effectively research your case.
Trial Preparation and Support
Private investigators many times become the field arm of the trial attorney before and during courtroom proceedings. While working on briefs and preparing cross-examination strategies, attorneys rely on private investigators to obtain information in the field to support the foundation of their arguments and positions. Private investigators are adept at field work, locating witnesses and obtaining statements to help establish the attorney’s argument or legal position in court. It is often the case that a pivotal witness must be located at the last minute. Although challenging, the work can be very gratifying when a witness is located who makes the case for the client. Trial support can involve skip tracing, contacting witnesses, surveillance, background checks on subjects in civil and criminal indexes, photographing or videotaping accident scenes and innumerable other investigative tasks. Trial support private investigators work long hours including weekends and holidays, as do the attorneys who rely on their assistance.