Private Investigators Responsibilities
1. Research The Case
PIs start any case by researching the client and going through as many relevant documents as possible to mindmap an overall approach to the case they are handling. Papers they might search for include criminal records, CVs, financial statements, and even contracts.
2. Discreet Missions
This is the job role that is usually exaggerated in Hollywood. While that is, in fact, a part of the job, PIs can’t use illegal methods like impersonating someone to get the information they need. This means the discreet Missions they embark upon in real life are not as interesting as many might think. If they resemble anything, it is the comedic scene of an older adult discreetly spying on someone as he reads a newspaper with a hole in it!
3. Conduct Interviews
Interviews are one way to ensure your facts are correct, and PIs have the ability to slowly but surely get the facts they need from anyone. This is because they often get a head start by learning the mindset of their interviewee beforehand in order to extract the information they need quickly. Unlike the police, who use interrogation rooms to interview suspects and witnesses, private investigators can’t use a closed room to investigate a case they are working on. Instead, they set a meeting place with the witnesses and crosscheck all the evidence against witnesses’ stories.
4. Testify In Court
Sometimes, when private investigators work on a criminal case, they end up testifying in court to support the case. While that is not their main responsibility, and a private investigator can decline a request to give a witness statement, many investigators won’t ever refuse to testify. They believe it is their responsibility to shed light on the truth of any matter.
5. Report To Client
A private investigator is a person a client hires to get to the depth of an old case or finish a legal task that the client can’t understand. Some PIs previously worked as prosecutors, lawyers, or even police officers, which means they are familiar with the law and probably served it at one point. Still, once they become private investigators, they don’t have the same legal authority as they did when they were directly serving the government. PIs mainly serve a client; therefore, they have a duty to report any extra details they found about the case. Furthermore, they have to request payment and compensation from the client when needed.