Is using a private investigator legal? The straight answer to that question is YES, it is legal.
You or anyone can legally use a private investigator and it's as legal as you would use a lawyer. But the question regarding legalities raises other questions that need to be addressed. The questions are not so much about the legal or illegal hiring of a private investigator in itself, but the activities that are undertaken once you have hired one.
Yes, it is legal to use the services of a private investigator, but why you want to use one and how the private investigator conducts them self during the investigation will decide whether or not legal boundaries have been crossed.
Any ethical private detective will not engage in non-legal activities. If what you ask them to do is against the law; they will tell you so. However, a trained investigator can sometimes use his or her experience, knowledge and judgment to find an alternative legal solution.
Using a private investigator for activities such as tapping a phone, finding medical or bank records without the proper authority, breaking into properties, would be illegal.
Although in the past the private investigation industry has gotten a bad reputation - because of a few bad apples - lawyers for a long time now have been successfully using investigators to help with their legal cases. And this is for a good reason. Private investigators usually come from a law enforcement type background and have a great deal of expertise and knowledge in obtaining information, locating people, following and using legal procedures. As long as information has been gathered in a lawful way, evidence gathered by a private investigator is admissible in court and can even overturn the outcome of a legal case.
Whether or not using a private investigator can help your legal case, the answer is yes, it could. While there are no absolute guarantees for the outcome of any legal battle, you clearly want to ensure you have maximized your winning chances. Still, there are a couple of things you should be aware of before using the services of a private investigator.
Using a private investigator can be expensive and may not even not be relevant or useful for your case. However, if based upon consultation with your lawyer that you decide using an investigator can prove essential to the outcome of your case, you should hire one. Just make sure you follow our hiring tips to prevent and troubles in hiring a sub-standard PI firm, or ask your lawyer to recommend one for you. More than likely they would have used one.
Read this in-depth article for more information: "Is It Illegal to Hire a Private Investigator."