Surveillance is what typically comes to mind when most people think about what a private investigator does. Surveillance is the observing and documenting of activity by the use of electronics, physical observation, undercover investigation, interviewing, and technical surveillance. For attorneys who are assigned new cases and have no idea what they are getting themselves into, surveillance could be a great opportunity to gain critical insight into the locations, people, and things involved in a criminal or civil case.
Electronic surveillance uses cameras, wiretapping, radios, cameras, webcams, or bugs to monitor a person’s use of telephones, cell phones, social media, emails, and other digital activity. In civil and criminal cases, this can reveal anything from someone’s secret business deals, covering up a crime, or lying about critical details of a case. In the world of technology, people often rely on their technology more than other people to hold their secrets. Revealing secrets can make or break an entire case. Finding information, extracting the important details, and doing it in a legal way can assist civil and criminal attorneys in their investigations for evidence and use of evidence in a court of law.
Physical observation is another way to collect evidence for a case. Nothing is better than actually having a private investigator witness, with their own eyes, something illegal or damning for the other side. Actual crimes, sketchy deals, and character flaws are revealed every day when people think that nobody is around to see. Physical observation can include disguises, stakeouts, undercover investigating, and organized investigations. Disguises and undercover work takes professionals who have experience with adapting to their surroundings and meshing with a group of people in a safe way. These techniques can get people to open up and reveal things that they are hiding and actually catch people in the act of crimes or other negative acts.
Interviews are conducted by private investigators to pull information from several people, using unique lines of questioning that tailor to specific situations. Knowing how to connect with people and get them to trust a stranger can be difficult. Interviewing is efficient for evidence collection and pulling together into a cohesive summary for criminal and civil cases. Interviewees could be anyone from family members, friends, coworkers, employees, neighbors, witnesses, and more. Interviews are often critical to gaining evidence to a case and revealing a person’s character because family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors know a specific individual better than anyone else. Not always will people be truthful, however, private investigators understand the types of questions and demeanor to have when interviewing people.
Technical surveillance is the use of a camera or a video camera to record a person and his or her activities. Video cameras and cameras can take a photo or video of a person and can be helpful for attorneys’ cases and evidence. Overt cameras are typically within sight and are used to deter crime. Covert cameras are typically hidden and are used to trail someone or catch them in a crime or other sketchy activities, that can be used as proof. Surveillance also varies in its mobility and its use of technology or real humans. For example, dash cams are mobile, human surveillance. Hidden cameras are stationary, mechanical surveillance. Each situation calls for different methods of surveillance.
Attorneys are busy from the moment they are handed a client’s file for a case, to the moment they get a verdict. There are so many details of a case that attorneys are occupied with, they often do not have the time or resources to fully dedicate to intricate surveillance and evidence locating. Surveillance can be beneficial to attorneys who need to document an individual’s activities, find out where a person is going, find locations, obtain information for interrogations and interviews, obtain evidence of crimes, accidents, and that can be used in courts.
If you are an attorney, looking to hire a private investigator for surveillance, there are several things that will happen:
- The attorney can meet with the investigator to discuss the case, the client, the people involved, and what needs to be found or accomplished;
- The investigator will check the person of interest’s background by finding his or her name, address, physical description, phone number, relatives, and place of work;
- The investigator will determine which methods of surveillance will need to be executed to obtain the information needed;
- The correct equipment and people will be gathered and a plan will be formed;
- The investigator will survey, observe, interview, take notes, follow, and gather as much information as possible;
- All findings will be collected and revealed to the attorney.
If you or your firm is in need of specialized investigations or professional private investigators for your case, you have come to the right place. Our experienced investigators will work closely with attorneys, both Special Public Defenders and those with their own practice. We pride ourselves on professionalism and understand the need for confidentiality in the legal community. We work alongside attorneys and keep them involved in the progress of their case. We provide weekly update reports until the case is closed