Whether it’s for business, personal life, or a legal matter, many civilians decide not to hire a licensed private investigator and instead perform their own investigation or ask a friend or acquaintance to help them out. Without the proper training and experience, a civilian can not only compromise an “investigation,” but they can also put themselves in a perilous situation or be in serious violation of the law.
In this brief article, a Tampa private investigator will discuss several ways that an untrained civilian can get themselves into serious legal trouble when investigating a matter.
When performing surveillance, an untrained civilian may enter the property of the person they are investigating. Moreover, they may even enter the person’s residence. Legally, the person investigating needs permission from the owner in order to enter their property. A trained private investigator will not only abide by the law, but they will also know how to successfully plan and conduct a surveillance operation that results in obtaining the evidence you require for your case.
Most civilians are aware that it’s a federal offense to tamper with someone else’s mail. This includes anything from removing it from the mailbox, destroying it, or anything that prohibits the intended person from receiving it. Another common breach by a civilian is wiretapping a call meaning that a phone call was recorded without a person’s consent. The State of Florida is a “two-party consent” law state meaning that both people on a call must be aware that it is being recorded. Our trained and certified Tampa private investigators are knowledgeable about how to comply with both state and federal laws.
Other Legal Issues
There are several other ways an untrained civilian can break the law that compromises an investigation and results in an arrest including:
- Impersonating a Police Officer: A civilian should never streamline their “investigation” by pretending they are a police officer and trying to trick a person of interest into divulging some important information. Whether it’s carrying a badge, wearing some form of police apparel, or stating a fake title and precinct, impersonating an officer is a serious crime that will result in a felony arrest.
- Accessing Private Information: Although there are a variety of ways that a person may try to access personal records (criminal arrests, phone records, credit information, etc.), it’s very important that this task is left to a licensed professional. Any form of bribery or deceit to improperly access private information can not only lead to this information being excluded as evidence from a case, but it can also lead to other serious penalties and legal issues.
If you have a concern that requires an investigation, hire an expert at Darwin Securities. We are trained and licensed professionals that understand the law and know how to successfully perform investigations.
For more information on the services of a Tampa private investigator, please submit to our contact request form.