As we discussed in the previous article, private investigators play an essential role for attorneys in court. For instance, one of their main responsibilities in court is the collection and compilation of evidence. This service is often decisive to the outcome of a case, and can help bring it to the rightful conclusion.
In this post, we will be going into more detail concerning how private investigators collaborate with attorneys. Above all, we will be focusing on how PIs deal with evidence and how this evidence can be used in court.
Firstly, private investigators train thoroughly in the proper collection of evidence. If they do not handle evidence properly and correctly prepare it for presentation in court, it can be inadmissible. They must adhere to these strict criteria or risk the case going into shambles.
For example, they must make sure that when they collect evidence it is done so legally. That is to say, if they’re using surveillance without the subjects prior knowledge it must be done in a public setting. PIs must follow the law in terms of a person’s reasonable expectation of privacy. They couldn’t go into someone’s house and spy on them there. On the other hand, somewhere public, where we don’t have a reasonable expectation of privacy, they can listen in on conversations, take pictures, video and so on.
Making use of physical evidence
Physical evidence usually plays a role in most cases in some shape or form. Handling this sort of evidence is an important and delicate task. Hence, why when collecting physical evidence a private investigator must make sure not to contaminate or compromise it during collection. Usually PIs practice precautionary measures to avoid any such outcome. For example, documenting the process of collection and every detail concerning the piece of evidence. Recording the time, place, and date of collection is an important practice. As is documenting the conditions of said piece of evidence at the time it was found. This must be done in a detailed and thorough manner.
All these details are paramount to the eligibility of physical evidence. If we fail to adhere to them, the opposition may it contaminated evidence. Furthermore, this could result in the opposition calling its authenticity into questions. Which would make the evidence void and could have a detrimental effect on the case.
The importance of digital evidence
In today’s age video and audio evidence are a part of most cases. They play an important role and can make the difference between the case going one way or the other. That’s one of the many reasons private investigators make use of this kind of evidence in court. It is very reliable and difficult to refute. Not to mention that cameras and audio recording devices are incredibly useful tools for the collection of evidence. Invaluable tools in any PIs arsenal.
There are of course, precautions one must take when engaging in this kind of practice. The image must be clear, and must not obscure its subject. It is also the case for audio evidence. The quality of the recording must be descernible and the device must be recording properly. Digital evidence, as with with physical evidence, must be documented properly. This criteria goes in tandem with its collection and preparation for presentation in court. In addition, it’s also important for a PI to log this evidence correctly, and back it up securely.
The training for private investigators in the collection of evidence is extensive and very thorough. They are experts in this field of work. If you find yourself in need of a licensed private investigator and their particular set of skills, please feel free to call us. Or simply click on this link to get in contact with one of our team members.