A private investigator, an investigator or investigation agent, is someone who may be employed by people, companies or NGOs to undertake investigative services. Private investigators are highly trained experts who can provide a wide range of investigative services that have great significance in shaping a legal case outcome. They use techniques such as computer forensics, surveillance, and secret observation to collect and evaluate evidence in any kind of legal case. Private investigators may also use sources to obtain information that is not public knowledge. However, sources and methods used by private investigators are never disclosed to the opposing parties.
Private investigators provide a variety of investigative services including criminal justice system activity such as undercover investigations, pre-employment verification, employee background checks, employer/employee background checks, detecting fraud and civil litigation preparation. They may also conduct seminars and trainings in order to enhance their skills in conducting undercover investigations and surveillance. They may also perform investigative work for corporate security, corporate compliance, litigation support, and executive intelligence. They may serve as a liaison between criminal defense and police authorities, investigating a case from its inception to trial.
Private investigators may also work independently, performing surveillance and uncovering hidden information through sources in the opposition to a client. The most common kinds of private investigations are executed on behalf of clients in federal, state and local jurisdiction. However, it is not uncommon for private investigators to work in the private sector as well. Many corporate and accounting firms rely upon private investigators to investigate and document financial records and employee accounting practices. In these cases, private investigators conduct investigations to substantiate allegations made by the corporations. Sometimes, these firms will hire private investigators to do routine background investigations on their own employees.
As is the case in the private sector, being a private detective requires being highly proficient in communication and investigation. Often, private investigators work with law enforcement agencies and the government to assist them with legal issues. In instances where there are suspicions of employee fraud or criminal activity, private detectives may be called in to interview suspects and gather evidence against them. Private investigators may also be called in to determine the innocence or guilt of a public official in a personal or political situation.
Although being a private investigator is not as easy as it sounds, it is an exciting and rewarding career choice. There are many different aspects to private investigations, including tracking down missing people, tracking down suspects, and performing background checks on business people and celebrities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that jobs in the private investigation field are going to increase at a rapid rate through 2021. Private investigators can work in all areas of law enforcement and can even work as a police officer if they wanted to.
A career as a private investigator brings exciting opportunities to individuals who like to find out the truth about others. To become a private detective or private investigator, you must undergo training and become certified. Obtaining a license is not as easy as it seems, however, as there are stringent requirements to become a private investigator in each state. To obtain a private investigator license, you have to complete a 12-hour course in Investigation and Security, which includes physical surveillance and investigative procedures and techniques. Then, you must sit for a written examination that covers the subjects that you will be studying, such as search warrant applications, undercover surveillance, obstruction of government officials, and other pertinent information.
You must meet certain educational and employment requirements before you can become a licensed private investigator. Some states require that you are a U.S. citizen, have a high school diploma, and possess a degree in a related field; while other states only require that you have a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or any related field. Most private investigators are hired on a trial basis, which means you are hired based on an existing investigation. If you were to hire an associate degree private investigator, your salary will be higher because the salary scale for associates goes up with experience. With an associate degree, the salary range for private investigation jobs is from twelve hundred dollars to four thousand dollars a year.
Many private investigators specialize in one particular area such as financial crimes, corporate fraud, missing persons, business intelligence, computer crimes, intellectual property theft, and child pornography. There are also private detectives who specialize in forensic studies. They gather evidence that can help the police in their investigation and sometimes they are also called in as a defense witness. The defense witness position can come in handy if you are being charged with something that does not really fall under the scope of the laws that are in place regarding these types of crimes. A private investigator can also gather evidence to use against you for prosecution, should you be involved in a case in which you are suspected of committing a crime.