By: JMBA

Counsellor-at-Law

What Is A Private Investigator?

Bitterroot Investigations- Missoula Montana- Private Investigator. Perhaps you may have already heard the words “private investigator” once in your life, maybe during a casual conversation between people, over the radio, or possibly through a shady character in a movie. But, did you really understand what a private investigator is and how he can make a drastic change in your life? My personal characterization of a private investigator is “someone who has a professional and academic background in fact-finding and who’s equipped with a highly efficient investigative skills, tools and techniques in order to get his investigative job done.” Sounds like a scholastically personalized definition, right? Otherwise known as a “private detective”, “P’I in short or “undercover”, a private investigator is somebody whose services can be hired for probe and other exploratory endeavors.

What Are The Services For Which A Private Investigator Is Hired?

 Gather pieces of evidence to strengthen an accused’ criminal defense- Private investigators in good standing and who already earned expertise and good repute in their field or industry usually work with legal counsels to strengthen the defense of a person accused of a crime. A litigation attorney who really gets really busy as a bee turns his hand to a private investigator for help especially when it comes to gathering and collecting pieces of evidence which may certainly exculpate the client from criminal liability, as long as it is within the bounds of law and subject to rules on admissibility of evidence.

  • Seek evidence of marital infidelity and other ill behavior and covert undertakings of any of the spouses-Unhappy and troubled wives, and husbands as well, seek the aid of private investigators to search for solid evidence to establish a ground for legal separation and/or declaration of nullity of marriage in some jurisdictions. But in countries where a “no-fault divorce” laws are in effect, the evidence gathered to support a ground in such cases becomes unnecessary but eventually becomes very useful in legal battles especially in establishing factual grounds in child custody cases, alimony and other spousal disagreements, provided they are within the bounds of law.
  • Process serving– A private investigator can also perform the role of a “process server” in some jurisdictions. When a case is filed in court, all legal documents such as summons, notices and subpoenas need to be personally served as much as practicable to the parties involved, especially to the defendant or respondent. It is legally fundamental that before any court proceedings can proceed or any trial be commenced, notices and other legal processes be duly served to the concerned party. If you’re a creditor and your debtor tries to run away from his monetary obligations, hiring a private investigator can be very favorable for your collection case, as the whereabouts of the said individual can certainly be traced using advanced surveillance methods.
  • Investigate suspicious and fraudulent insurance claims– Insurance companies also engage the services of private investigators to probe suspicious and fraudulent claims by the insured. This way, the company can have valid grounds to deny any claim based on the findings of a private investigator who embarked on the task. The fees to be paid towards the latter is way lower than the amount of claims to be paid to the insured, in case any violation of the insurance policy is actually established through the aid and expertise of a private investigator. Sounds like a practically smart idea? Or merely an exercise of a sound business judgment? This is not to say however, that this is a common practice, and this matter will always be subject to a case-to-case basis, and must be within legal and contractual bounds, of course.

The matters that I have discussed above are just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. But there are more complex cases where a private investigator can lend a helping hand to effectively uncover the hidden truths, whether in civil and criminal cases or even in personal and business matters which can have a long-term impact in your life if not taken seriously. So, when your life, liberty, relationships or property are at stake, would you hire a private investigator?

DISCLAIMER: The writer of this particular article doesn’t make any promises or guarantee regarding the accuracy, consistency, reliability and completeness of the information presented. Notwithstanding that Joana Marie (JMA) is a lawyer licensed to practice law in the Philippines, she is not your lawyer and this information does not constitute legal advice. This article is for informational and educational purposes only and does not create any kind of attorney-client relationship. She is not responsible or liable for any damages resulting from or related to your use of this article or information. This writing is not a substitute for legal or professional advice and does not constitute a direct nor indirect marketing of her profession and/or skills. Further, this article is opinion-based and that these opinions do not reflect the ideologies or points of view of the company.

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