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5 Things Private Investigators Can and Can’t Do

Private Investigators are tasked with sourcing sensitive information for a variety of purposes. There is an abundance of resources available to Private Investigators and most possess a robust skillset as well. To get information, however, there are limits to what a Private Investigator can and can’t do. Here, we’re going to discuss five things Private Investigators can do within the scope of the law to better understand their role.

Private Investigators Can Run a Background Check

An effective way to source information regarding any person is by running a background check, which will show crucial information, including:

  • Identity verification
  • Driver’s history
  • Criminal record
  • and more. 

Private Investigators have access to extensive databases that house such information and have the authority to use them to assist in their case. There are certain limitations, however, such as a Private Investigator may not run a credit report with a person’s written consent.

Private Investigators Can Locate Public Records

There is certain information on every person that’s available to the public. Such information includes:

  • Address information
  • Birth information
  • Marriage information
  • Professional licenses
  • Business information
  • Property holdings
  • Bankruptcy records
  • Criminal records
  • Sex offender registrations

Private Investigators are also trained and have the authority to research a person’s public social media profiles to find sensitive information about them. The only limitation they have is that they’re not allowed to access a person’s private messages or email without their written consent.

Private Investigators Can Conduct Surveillance

If a subject is out and about in public, a Private Investigator has every right to conduct surveillance on that person. They can monitor their daily activities, habits, and patterns without permission. A Private Investigator can learn an extensive amount of information about a person just by conducting simple surveillance. Some people are surprised to learn that a Private Investigator can even dig through a person’s trash to uncover important information about that individual and as a means of gathering evidence.

Private Investigators Can’t Run a License Plate Without Reason

Running a check on a person’s license plate will provide a variety of information including who owns a vehicle and that individual’s address. Although Private Investigators can source a great deal of information, they must have a legally justifiable reason to run a person’s license plate. For example, if a Private Investigator has been tasked by the government to uncover information about a specific individual, they can run a license plate on the vehicle that person is driving.

Private Investigators Can’t Film a Person In Their Home

When the subject of an investigation is inside their own home, they’re in a safe space. Although a Private Investigator can conduct surveillance outside of a person’s home, they can’t legally film that person inside their home without permission. It’s also illegal for Private Investigators to wiretap a person’s phone or record personal conversations without written consent. 

Learn How To Be a Private Investigator – Enroll In Online Courses

If you’re ready to begin an exciting and rewarding career as a Private Investigator, it’s time to enroll in online courses. The National Investigative Training Academy, Inc. (NITA) is a source of online pre-licensing, continuing education, and professional development courses for Private Investigators. All of the courses offered by NITA are authored by industry professionals with the goal of preparing you for a successful career in the field of private investigating. 
You can enroll in online courses with NITA right now! As soon as you’re enrolled, you’ll have access to your course materials 24/7 from any mobile device or computer. Call 866-235-7918 today or contact us online to get started.

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