Private investigators mainly focus on civil domestic investigations like catching a cheating spouse, monitoring and surveillance, background checks, and security auditing.
Criminal investigations are preserved for law enforcement agencies for some of reason: first, the legality of apprehending a suspect into private custody by a private citizen, secondly, the mandate to advance prosecution on behalf of victims of crime by the state. However, this doesn’t mean that private investigators don’t handle criminal investigations—the majority of them have a background in law enforcement and can certainly gather incriminating evidence and handle the files to the police for prosecution.
THE EVIDENCE GATHERING PHASE
At this level, your ideal private investigator might work hand in hand with law enforcement agencies or work alone in gathering relevant evidence on your case. Evidence gathered illegally or outside the evidentiary procedures code like accessing private data or searching private property without a valid warrant from the court is most likely inadmissible as evidence.
The law protects the rights of the accused until they are presumed guilty, therefore, it’s important not to infringe on their rights while pursuing justice—getting an expert or the police gather evidence for you is very important.
THE FILING PHASE
At this level, the private investigator must work hand in hand with the police to prosecute the suspect if there is reasonable ground based on the evidence gathered. Unless it’s a private prosecution, which is rare, the role of prosecution is reserved for the state attorney who receives and assesses the evidence brought forward by the police and advise accordingly.
The state attorney must examine the legality of the evidence as well as its sufficiency to proceed with the prosecution. Either the charges are amended or taken in as proposed by the investigating officer.
THE COURT PROCESS PHASE
At this level, if all the relevant evidence to tighten the case against the accused has been filed, and any mishaps which could jeopardize its success has been addressed, the evidence is admitted in a court of law against the accused.
The private investigator serves as a state witness alongside other witnesses where he/she is expected to give expert evidence on the events that occurred prior to apprehending the suspect. As noted earlier, a private investigator hardly works alone at this level to protect him/her against any legal liability arising from the proceedings as in most states they are not protected, unlike their counterparts in law enforcement.
THE COURT EVALUATION PHASE
Once the evidence is tabled against the accused, the pre-trial judge could examine its validity to protect the rights of the accused and ensure that evidentiary procedures were followed throughout the evidence collection process. The prosecution must follow all legal procedures and thresholds set by the law to secure a conviction.
At this level, all evidence and witnesses must be disclosed to the defense attorney for cross-examination to provide a defense or legal excuse for the accused. The work of a private investigator ends at this point where now it’s up to the judge to issue the verdict based on merit, aggravating factors, and mitigating factors brought forward by both parties. The accused is acquitted if found not guilty. Conversely, the accused is sentenced or fined if found guilty.
The work of a private investigator entails the gathering of evidence and is not limited to whether it’s on a civil or criminal ground. The best part of involving these professionals is that most likely you will get desirable results which will serve you justice and ultimately save you time. They understand the agony of discovering the wrongs done behind your back so having them walk with you through the hard times is a great idea as the course of obtaining criminal justice is never easy.
Call us today and let us know how we may assist you. We love what we do, and we do it best.
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