Private investigators need to have a wide variety of skills, and surveillance is an important one among them. There are also a number of contexts in which a PI would use surveillance-based evidence.
For instance, finding out the whereabouts of a subject. This might be to locate them to serve papers or bring them into court. It might also be in the context of a divorce case. In such a case, it’s quite possible there could be accusations of adultery. The court usually requires photographic and/or video surveillance evidence in order to cement such accusations. This is hard irrefutable evidence.
What other cases might benefit from surveillance?
Cases involving an action committed in a public place could have been monitored by CCTV. In an instance like this, private investigators can issue requests to obtain such evidence. They can then review the evidence to support an important case. Both photographic (including stills from a video) and video evidence are eligible.
A private investigator can process said evidence and prepare it for use in court according to due process. Without such knowledge, the court may reject or refute said evidence.
Besides obtaining evidence of a crime, private investigators may also use surveillance to prevent a crime from taking place. In other cases they might use it as evidence of wrongful action in a civil suit, and as mentioned earlier to document someone’s location. This could include surveying someone’s activity at a specific location too.
PIs can also use video surveillance to acquire information during an interrogation or interview. This is very useful in court. If the court does not require the presence of a witness, a video interrogation could be used in place for a testimony.
When is surveillance legal?
It is part of a PIs job to know the limits of the law when it comes to the use of surveillance. In essence, they have the same rights and limitations of a private citizen when it comes to surveillance.
A private investigator in most instances cannot perform surveillance on an individual where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy. It is in public places and events where a PI can survey an area or person. This can be from using video, photographic and/or audio evidence. It is in this context which private investigators can perform surveillance.
An important aspect of this service is also for a PI to document this kind of evidence accordingly. The date, place, time and so on, so they can properly prepare it for admission in court.
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.