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May 17, 2023

How Does a Private Investigator Work

Hiring a private investigator can be essential when you need assistance in uncovering the truth about a particular situation. Private investigators gather information and evidence to help clients make informed decisions or take legal action.

Situations Where a Private Investigator Can Help

Private investigators can assist in various situations, such as:

Probing into personal affairs like a partner's unfaithfulness, tracing missing persons, or exposing instances of breached trust.

Ensuring corporate compliance by conducting investigations on employee misconduct, fraudulent activities, and intellectual property infringement.

  • Criminal investigations involve assisting in defense cases, gathering documentation, conducting surveillance for evidence, and utilizing various investigative techniques.

Make certain to verify that certain criteria are met before contracting a private investigator. In order to conduct a professional investigation certain criteria must be met; including being licensed by the state, having a physical office, possessing a VAT number and being registered with the chamber of commerce along with having necessary experience. The proof gathered by personal researchers can frequently be utilized in legal issues. Besides, this is vital for both criminal and civil actions. Hiring an inexperienced or unlicensed investigator can jeopardize the case and render the collected evidence unusable.

What Specific Tasks Does a Private Investigator Perform?

Hiring a Private Detective: Establishing a Contract and Understanding Their Role

Before a private detective can begin an investigation, they must have a signed contract in place. This agreement outlines the relationship between the client and the detective, and should include the following details:

  • Investigation goals

  • Expected duration of the investigation

  • Right to exercise the investigation

  • Specific investigation content requested

If a private detective refuses to sign a contract or provide guarantees about their work, it's a red flag – you should look for another professional to handle your case.

The Role of a Private Detective and How They Gather Evidence

A private detective conducts unique investigations to gather evidence that can be useful to their client or their client's attorney. They can gather records and witness testimony by:

  • Gathering information
  • Investigating
  • Conducting surveillance
  • Inspecting locations
  • Tracking subjects
  • Producing images and videos of findings during the investigation

It's essential for a private detective to conduct their investigation in strict accordance with civil and criminal laws and the Code of Ethics of the Privacy Guarantor. As a result, there are specific actions they cannot take, including:

Illegally accessing secure databases for documents
Carrying out environmental interception
Soliciting telephone records
Conducting wiretapping

  • By understanding the role and limitations of a private detective, clients can ensure they're hiring a professional who operates within the law and ethical guidelines to provide the best possible results.

How to Conduct a Private Investigation

  1. Create a chat or message on Facebook, WhatsApp, and other social media platforms.

Private investigators may need to create false identities to interact with individuals under investigation without raising suspicion.

  1. Understand the legal framework

It's important to note that the work of a private investigator is regulated by the civil code and the criminal code, particularly in the context of defensive investigations.

  1. Consider key factors in conducting an investigation

To effectively carry out a private investigation, keep in mind the following factors:

Maintain the highest level of data security and confidentiality.
Act discreetly to avoid suspicion.
Focus solely on the subject matter of the investigation.
Gather evidence legally.
A private investigator must collect evidence in a lawful manner to ensure its admissibility in court.

  • Divide the investigation into phases.

A private investigator typically breaks their investigation into two main phases:

  • Preliminary examination: This phase involves conducting any necessary examinations to initiate the operational investigation.
  • Operational investigation: This phase focuses on gathering clues and information relevant to the case.

The operational investigation phase is particularly sensitive, as it involves finding evidence that may later be used in court.

  1. Rely on personal skills and experience

Although technology has greatly assisted private investigators in conducting their work, it is crucial for them to rely on their intellectual and professional abilities. The success of an investigation largely depends on the investigator's past experience and the skills acquired throughout their career.

Conducting Private Investigation 

Private detectives must act with the utmost caution, as GPS technology allows them to be followed for extended periods without being detected.

The primary role of private detectives is to obtain photographic and video evidence. Most clients prefer photographic evidence because it is easily presented in legal proceedings and can be viewed by judges without the need for specialized equipment that may not be available in civil courts. In other words, judges are unlikely to spend time watching video evidence of a cheating spouse or undisclosed employment activities.

Upon completing the investigation, the private detective must prepare a technical report that the client can use to assert or defend their rights in court.

Investigation reports should be prepared with a clear understanding of legal principles and awareness. Writing or including anything in this document that could be challenged or, worse, considered "illegal" can be both difficult and dangerous. A well-prepared technical report may take several days to ensure clarity and accuracy. This is crucial because including irrelevant data, claims, personal opinions, etc. can be counterproductive and disadvantage the client. In some cases, this may lead to serious disciplinary actions and significant problems for private detectives.

For more information about the activities of AusCovert Investigations, a private detective agency in Sydney, please contact us at 1800 553 788.