5 Things Private Investigators Can and Can't Do

Originally posted on 11/08/2016

Two private investigators stakeout a person of interest.Have you been frustrated with a case that doesn't move forward?

Many people dealing with a stuck case might consider hiring a private investigator. These professionals have a large amount of experience and an impressive array of resources at their disposal to investigate various avenues to obtain important information. However, many people have misconceptions about what rules private investigators must follow.

Keep reading to understand what private investigators can and cannot do.

Cannot Wiretap

First and foremost, private investigators cannot wiretap people's phones. Many people ask private investigators to record phone calls. While private investigators are physically capable of doing this, wiretapping a phone requires the consent of the other party. Good luck obtaining this kind of consent from anyone.

Cannot Trespass on Private Property

Next, private investigators also cannot trespass on private property. They cannot break into people's homes, cars, or other buildings without the consent of the other party. This is as true for law enforcement as it is for private investigators. This includes reading other people's mail. This also requires their consent.

Cannot Arrest Anyone

Private investigators also cannot arrest anyone. Because private investigators are not law enforcement, they are not allowed to arrest people. On the other hand, if they witness a crime in progress, they are allowed to take steps to stop this crime. For example, if they see someone being assaulted, they can jump in and try to stop the attack.

Can Run License Plate Numbers

What can private investigators do? First, they are allowed to run a license plate. This can yield valuable information for certain people. On the other hand, even this has limits. There must be some sort of legal grounds for running this license plate before they do so. Make sure to read the law carefully to make sure there are legal grounds.

Can Perform Background Checks

In addition, private investigators are allowed to perform background checks on people. Private investigators often have access to expensive equipment and databases that collect public information from various location. This can reveal valuable information about a person that another party might care about. Background checks will reveal sensitive information such as criminal charges and convictions.

Get Private Investigative Services from Trusted Professionals

If you're in the Maryland area and are looking for a private investigator or process serving services, contact the skilled team at Same Day Process today. 

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