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Encyclopedia > Private investigator

A private investigator, private detective, PI, or private eye, is a person who undertakes investigations, usually for a private citizen or some other entity not involved with a government or police organization. Image File history File links Gnome-globe. ...


Private investigators often work for attorneys in civil cases or on behalf of a defense attorney. Many work for insurance companies to investigate suspicious claims. Before the advent of no-fault divorce, many private investigators were hired to search out evidence of adultery or other illegal conduct within marriage to establish grounds for a divorce. Despite the lack of legal necessity for such evidence in many jurisdictions, according to press reports collecting evidence of adultery or other "bad behavior" by spouses and partners is still one of the most profitable activities investigators undertake. A lawyer, according to Blacks Law Dictionary, is a person learned in the law; as an attorney, counsel or solicitor; a person licensed to practice law. ... Civil law has at least three meanings. ... For the record label, see Divorce Records. ... Adultery is voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a partner other than the lawful spouse. ... “Spouse” redirects here. ...


Many jurisdictions require PIs to be licensed, and they may or may not carry firearms depending on local laws. Some are ex-police officers, although many are not. They are expected to keep detailed notes and to be prepared to testify in court regarding any of their observations on behalf of their clients. Taking great care to remain within the law in the scope is also required, as this may lead to the individual facing criminal charges. Irregular hours may also be required when performing surveillance work. A Glock 22 hand-held firearm with internal laser sight and mounted flashlight, surrounded by hollowpoint ammunition. ... A police officer is a warranted employee of a police service. ... A trial at the Old Bailey in London as drawn by Thomas Rowlandson and Augustus Pugin for Ackermanns Microcosm of London (1808-11). ... This article includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ...


PIs also undertake a large variety of work that is not usually associated with the industry in the mind of the public. For example, many PIs are involved in process serving, the personal delivery of summons, subpoenas and other legal documents to parties in a legal case. The tracing of absconding debtors can also form a large part of a PI's work load. Many agencies specialize in a particular field of expertise. For example, some PI agencies deal only in tracing. Others may specialize in technical surveillance countermeasures, or TSCM, which is the locating and dealing with unwanted forms of electronic surveillance (for example, a bugged boardroom for industrial espionage purposes). Other PIs, also known as Corporate Investigators, specialise in corporate matters, including anti-fraud work, the protection of intellectual property, anti-piracy, due diligence investigations and computer forensics work. A subpoena is a command to appear at a certain time and place to give testimony upon a certain matter. ... For the 2006 film, see Intellectual Property (film). ... Due diligence is a term used for a number of concepts involving either the performance of an investigation of a business or person, or the performance of an act with a certain standard of care. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Digital Forensic Tools. ...


Increasingly, modern PIs prefer to be known as "professional investigators" rather than "private investigators" or "private detectives". This is a response to the seedy image that is sometimes attributed to the profession and an effort to establish and demonstrate the industry to be a proper and respectable profession.

Contents

Global focus

In some countries throughout the world, private investigations are illegal. In the following countries, private investigations thrive; United States of America, Mexico, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Spain, South Africa, Australia and Japan. In South Africa, private investigators are in very high demand due to poor police work and high crime. Other countries throughout the world have private investigators, but a lot of their duties are restricted. In South Korea, surveillance is allowed only in insurance fraud situations. In India, working the same case may involve speaking with a large network of people, driving long distances, and contacting several companies over extended periods of time to solve the case. Some countries in the world require licensing of private detectives, but most do not. This article includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ...

Working conditions

Private detectives and investigators often work irregular hours because of the need to conduct surveillance and contact people who are not available during normal working hours. Early morning, evening, weekend, and holiday work is common.


Many detectives and investigators spend time away from their offices conducting interviews or doing surveillance, but some work in their office most of the day conducting computer searches and making phone calls. Those who have their own agencies and employ other investigators may work primarily in an office and have normal business hours.


When the private investigator is working on a case away from the office, the environment might range from plush boardrooms to seedy bars. Store and hotel detectives work in the businesses that they protect. Investigators generally work alone, but they sometimes work with others during surveillance or when following a subject in order to avoid detection by the subject.


Some of the work involves confrontation, so the job can be stressful and dangerous. Some situations call for the investigator to be armed, such as certain bodyguard assignments for corporate or celebrity clients. Detectives and investigators who carry handguns must be licensed by the appropriate authority. In most cases, however, a weapon is not necessary, because the purpose of the work is gathering information and not law enforcement or criminal apprehension. Owners of investigative agencies have the added stress of having to deal with demanding and sometimes distraught clients.


Training, other qualifications, and advancement

There are no formal education requirements for most private detective and investigator jobs, although many private detectives have college degrees or have taken legal or criminal investigation courses. Private detectives and investigators typically have previous experience in other occupations. Some work initially for insurance or collections companies, in the private security industry, or as paralegals. Many investigators enter the field after serving in law enforcement, the military, government auditing and investigative positions, or federal intelligence jobs.


Former law enforcement officers, military investigators, and government agents, who are frequently able to retire after 25 years of service, often become private detectives or investigators in a second career. Others enter from such diverse fields as finance, accounting, commercial credit, investigative reporting, insurance, and law. These individuals often can apply their prior work experience in a related investigative specialty. A few enter the occupation directly after graduation from college, generally with associate’s or bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice, police science or with a private investigation diploma.


The majority of United States states and the District of Columbia require private detectives and investigators to be licensed. Licensing requirements vary, however. Seven states—- Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri, and South Dakota—- have no statewide licensing requirements, some states have very few requirements, and many other states have stringent regulations. A growing number of states are enacting mandatory training programs for private detectives and investigators. For example, the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services of the California Department of Consumer Affairs requires private investigators to be 18 years of age or older, have a combination of education in police science, criminal law, or justice and experience equaling 3 years (6,000 hours) of investigative experience, pass a criminal history background check by the California Department of Justice and the FBI (in most States, convicted felons cannot be issued a license), and receive a qualifying score on a two-hour written examination covering laws and regulations. There are additional requirements for a firearms permit.


For private detective and investigative jobs, most employers look for individuals with ingenuity, persistence, and assertiveness. A candidate must not be afraid of confrontation, should communicate well, and should be able to think on his or her feet. Good interviewing and interrogation skills also are important and usually are acquired in earlier careers in law enforcement or other fields. Because the courts often are the ultimate judge of a properly conducted investigation, the investigator must be able to present the facts in a manner that a jury will believe.


Training in subjects such as criminal justice and police science can be helpful to aspiring private detectives and investigators. Most corporate investigators must have a bachelor’s degree, preferably in a business-related field. Some corporate investigators have a master’s degree in business administration or a law degree, while others are CPAs. Corporate investigators hired by large companies may receive formal training from their employers on business practices, management structure, and various finance-related topics. The screening process for potential employees typically includes a background check for a criminal history.


Some investigators receive certification from a professional organization to demonstrate competency in a field. For example, the National Association of Legal Investigators (NALI) confers the Certified Legal Investigator designation to licensed investigators who devote a majority of their practice to negligence or criminal defense investigations. To receive the designation, applicants must satisfy experience, educational, and continuing-training requirements and must pass written and oral exams administered by the NALI.


Most private-detective agencies are small, with little room for advancement. Usually, there are no defined ranks or steps, so advancement takes the form of increases in salary and assignment status. Many detectives and investigators work for detective agencies at the beginning of their careers and, after a few years, start their own firms. Corporate and legal investigators may rise to supervisor or manager of the security or investigations department.


The median salary for a private investigator in the U.S. is $32,110 USD, according to 2004 data. [1] The United States dollar is the official currency of the United States. ...


Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2006-07 Edition, Private Detectives and Investigators, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos157.htm (visited November 13, 2006).


History of the private investigator

In 1833 Eugène François Vidocq, a French soldier, criminal and privateer, founded the first known private detective agency, Le bureau des renseignments (Office of Intelligence) and hired ex-cons. Official law enforcement tried many times to shut it down. In 1842 police arrested him in suspicion of unlawful imprisonment and taking money on false pretenses after he had solved an embezzling case. Vidocq later suspected that it had been a set-up. He was sentenced for five years with a 3,000-franc fine but the Court of Appeals released him. Vidocq is credited with having introduced record-keeping, criminology and ballistics to criminal investigation. He made the first plaster casts of shoe impressions. He created indelible ink and unalterable bond paper with his printing company. His form of anthropometrics is still partially used by French police. He is also credited for philanthropic pursuits – he claimed he never informed on anyone who had stolen for real need. Eugène François Vidocq (July 23, 1775 – May 11, 1857) was a French criminal who later became a first director of Sûreté Nationale and one of the founders of the modern criminal investigation. ...


After Vidocq, the industry was born. Much of what private investigators did in the early days was to act as the police in matters that their clients felt the police were not equipped for or willing to do. A larger role for this new private investigative industry to was to assist companies in labor disputes. Some early private investigators provided armed guards to act as a private militia.


In the US, the Pinkerton National Detective Agency was a private detective agency established in 1850 by Allan Pinkerton. Pinkerton had become famous when he foiled a plot to assassinate then President-Elect Abraham Lincoln. Pinkerton's agents performed services which ranged from undercover investigations and detection of crimes to plant protection and armed security. It is sometimes claimed, probably with exaggeration, that at the height of its existence the Pinkerton National Detective Agency employed more agents than the standing army of the United States of America. Pinkerton guards escort strikebreakers in Buchtel, Ohio, 1884 The Pinkerton National Detective Agency was a private U.S. security guard and detective agency established by Allan Pinkerton in 1850. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... For other uses, see Abraham Lincoln (disambiguation). ...


During the labor unrest of the late 19th century, companies sometimes hired operatives and armed guards from the Pinkertons and similar agencies to keep strikers and suspected unionists out of their factories. The most famous example of this was the Homestead Strike of 1892, when industrialist Henry Clay Frick hired a large contingent of Pinkerton men to regain possession of Andrew Carnegie's steel mill during a lock-out at Homestead, Pennsylvania. Gunfire erupted between the strikers and the Pinkertons, resulting in multiple casualties and deaths on both sides. Several days later a radical anarchist, Alexander Berkman, attempted to assassinate Frick. In the aftermath of the Homestead Riot, several states passed so-called "anti-Pinkerton" laws restricting the importation of private security guards during labor strikes. The federal Anti-Pinkerton Act of 1893 continues to prohibit an "individual employed by the Pinkerton Detective Agency, or similar organization" from being employed by "the Government of the United States or the government of the District of Columbia."[2] Henry Clay Frick Henry Clay Frick (December 19, 1849 – December 2, 1919) was an American industrialist and art patron. ...


Pinkerton agents were also hired to track western outlaws Jesse James, the Reno brothers, and the Wild Bunch, including Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The Pinkerton agency's logo, an eye embellished with the words "We Never Sleep," inspired the term "private eye."


It was not until the prosperity of the 1920s that the private investigator became a person accessible to the average American. With the wealth of the 20s and the expanding of the middle class came the need for middle America.


Since then the private detective industry has grown with the changing needs of the public. Social issues like infidelity and unionization have impacted the industry and created new types of work, as has the need for insurance, and with it insurance fraud, criminal defense investigations and the invention of low cost listening devices. In a number of countries a licensing process has been introduced which has put criteria in place which investigators have to meet: in most cases this is a clean criminal record. This has combined with modern business practices that have ensured that most investigators are now professional in outlook, rather than seeing the PI world as a second career opportunity for retired policemen.


PIs in fiction

Perhaps the most famous fictional PI is the Sherlock Holmes character created by Arthur Conan Doyle, who would refer to himself in the jargon of his age as a "private inquiries agent." (See Crime fiction for details.) A portrait of Sherlock Holmes by Sidney Paget from the Strand Magazine, 1891 Sherlock Holmes is a fictional detective of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, who first appeared in publication in 1887. ... Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle, DL (22 May 1859–7 July 1930) was a Scottish born author most noted for his stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes, which are generally considered a major innovation in the field of crime fiction, and the adventures of Professor Challenger. ... Sherlock Holmes, pipe-puffing hero of crime fiction, confers with his colleague Dr. Watson; together these characters popularized the genre. ...


Since about the 1940s, PIs have been frequently found in fiction as a stock character; they are a hero archetype who stumbles into detective stories to solve a mystery case, whether it be a whodunit murder or other crime activity. The PI is usually cool, relaxed and intelligent. A stereotypical look would have him drink whiskey, smoke, dress in a trenchcoat and fedora and be a good marksman with his snubnosed revolver. A slang term for PI, often used in film noir and noir fiction, is "shamus." This article does not cite any references or sources. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... A whodunit or whodunnit (for Who done it? and sometimes referred to as a Golden Age Mystery novel) is a complex, plot-driven variety of the detective story in which the puzzle is paramount. ... For the Walt Disney Company film, see Trenchcoat (movie). ... A fedora, which in this case has been pinched at the front and being worn pushed back on the head, with the front of the brim bent down over the eyes. ... Colt Cobra . ... This still from The Big Combo (1955) demonstrates the visual style of film noir at its most extreme. ... Hardboiled crime fiction is a uniquely American style pioneered by Dashiell Hammett, refined by Raymond Chandler, and endlessly imitated since by writers such as Mickey Spillane. ...


PIs are also popular in television fiction, including such hit series as Charlie's Angels, Magnum P.I., Tropical Heat, Angel, Veronica Mars, Moonlighting, Remington Steele, The Rockford Files, Monk, Spenser: For Hire and Nice Guy Eddie, a BBC series in which Ricky Tomlinson played a PI based in Liverpool, where real-life investigator, Tony Smith, was used as a script consultant; the show aired for only six episodes [3]. Both TV and movie PI fiction often utilize the device of the main character first-person voiceover to make up for the fact that visual fiction is rarely ever shot in the true first-person, as well as to provide exposition about the detective's thoughts. Meanwhile filmmakers like Joel and Ethan Coen (The Big Lebowski), David O. Russell (I ♥ Huckabees), and writers like Jennifer Colt (The Butcher of Beverly Hills), Laura Anne Gilman (Staying Dead) and Jim Butcher (The Dresden Files) have moved the traditional PI protagonist towards new genres. One such Genre was a 2004 made for TV movie based on a true story "Suburban Madness" staring "Sela Ward" as a real life female Private Investigator Bobbi Bacha owner of Blue Moon Investigations of Webster, Texas, is the agency that filmed dentist Clara Harris running over her cheating orthodontist husband with her Mercedes Benz killing him in an upscale Hotel parking lot. Bobbi Bacha is also know for working cases such as the mystery of Robert Durst the New York Millionaire that dismembered his neighbor and was suspected in the disapearance of his wife Kathie Durst as well as suspected in the murder of his friend daughter of a mobster Susan Berman in Los Angeles. This article is about the television series. ... Magnum, P.I. was an American television show that followed the adventures of Thomas Magnum (played by Tom Selleck), a private investigator living in Hawaii. ... Tropical Heat, also known as Sweating Bullets was Canadian, made in cooperation with Mexico and Israel, criminal tv-series released between 1991 and 1993. ... Angel is a spin-off of the American television series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. ... This article is about the Veronica Mars television series. ... Look up moonlighting in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Remington Steele was an American television series first broadcast on the NBC network from 1982 to 1987. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Monk is an Emmy Award winning television show about the private detective Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub), afflicted by Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and multiple phobias. ... Spenser: For Hire is a mystery, P.I. television series based on Robert B. Parkers Spenser novels. ... The British Broadcasting Corporation, which is usually known as the BBC, is the largest broadcasting corporation in the world in terms of audience numbers, employing 26,000 staff in the United Kingdom alone and with a budget of more than GB£4 billion. ... Ricky Tomlinson (born September 26, 1939) is an English actor. ... Location within England Coordinates: , Sovereign state United Kingdom Constituent country England Region North West England Ceremonial county Historic county Merseyside Lancashire Admin HQ Liverpool City Centre Founded 1207 City Status 1880 Government  - Type Metropolitan borough, City  - Governing body Liverpool City Council Area  - Borough & City 43. ... VoiceOver is a feature built into Apple Computers Mac OS X v10. ... Look up exposition in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Joel and Ethan Coen at Cannes 2001 Joel and Ethan Coen, commonly known as The Coen Brothers have written and directed numerous successful films, such as comedies O Brother Where Art Thou, Raising Arizona and The Big Lebowski, as well as darker film noir dramas such as Fargo, Millers... The Big Lebowski, a 1998 comedy film written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, chronicles a few days in the life of a burned out, unemployed California slacker after he is mistaken for a millionaire with the same name. ... David O. Russell David Owen Russell (born 20 August 1958 in New York) is an American film director and screenwriter. ... I ♥ Huckabees is a film released in 2004. ... Laura Anne Gilman is an author // Works Buffyverse Visitors (Buffy novel) (1999) (with Josepha Sherman) Deep Water (Buffy novel) (2000) (with Josepha Sherman) Series Retrievers 1. ... Jim Butcher is a New York Times Best Selling author[1][2] most known for his contemporary fantasy book series The Dresden Files. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... A genre is any of the traditional divisions of art forms from a single field of activity into various kinds according to criteria particular to that form. ... Sela Ann Ward (IPA: ) (born July 11, 1956) is an American actress, perhaps best known for her Golden Globe and Emmy award-winning television roles as free-spirited Teddy Reed on Sisters (1991-96) and single mother Lily Manning on Once and Again (1999-2002). ... Robert Alan Durst (b. ... Susan Berman (1945 - 2000), author, was murdered execution-style with a 9-millimeter hand gun, on Christmas Eve 2000 in Benedict Canyon. ...


Parco PI was a cable reality television show. The show featured Vinny Parco, a private investigator in New York City, New York. On Garrison Kellior's A Prairie Home Companion, a fictional character, Guy Noir is a private eye in St. Paul, Minnesota. Since 2000, the syndicated television show Cheaters has been on the air. The show focuses on infidelity cases, investigated by the Cheaters Detective Agency.[4] Parco P.I. is a reality television program that airs on Court TV. The series is about the cases of New York City-based private investigator Vincent Vinny Parco. ... New York, New York and NYC redirect here. ... Garrison Keillor (born Gary Edward Keillor on August 7, 1942 in Anoka, Minnesota) is an American author, humorist, columnist, musician, satirist, and radio personality. ... This article is about the radio show. ... Guy Noir is a fictional private detective regularly featured on the public radio show A Prairie Home Companion. ... State capitol building in Saint Paul Saint Paul is the capital and second-largest city of the state of Minnesota in the United States of America. ... 2000 (MM) was a leap year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Cheaters logo used from Season 2 through the present Cheaters logo (Season 1) For the act of cheating on a partner, see Adultery. ... Cheaters Detective Agency is a group of private investigators featured on, and licensed by the Cheaters television show. ...


References

  1. ^ http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos157.htm
  2. ^ 5 U.S. Code 3108; Public Law 89-554, 80 Stat. 416 (1966); ch. 208 (5th par. under "Public Buildings"), 27 Stat. 591 (1893). The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in U.S. ex rel. Weinberger v. Equifax, 557 F.2d 456 (5th Cir. 1977), cert. denied, 434 U.S. 1035 (1978), held that "The purpose of the Act and the legislative history reveal that an organization was 'similar' to the Pinkerton Detective Agency only if it offered for hire mercenary, quasi-military forces as strikebreakers and armed guards. It had the secondary effect of deterring any other organization from providing such services lest it be branded a 'similar organization.'" 557 F.2d at 462; see also GAO Decision B-298370; B-298490, Brian X. Scott (Aug. 18, 2006)..
  3. ^ Nice Guy Eddie (2002) Episode list.. Retrieved on Aug 13, 2007.
  4. ^ Harry, Joseph C. (2005). "Tales of Tattered Romance: Cheaters TV, Real Reality, & Melodramatic Parody, http://list.msu.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0602a&L=aejmc&D=1&T=0&O=A&P=10523". Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication annual conference. 

The Occupational Outlook Handbook is a publication of the United States Department of Labors Bureau of Labor Statistics that includes information about training and education, earnings, job prospects, and working conditions for hundreds of different jobs. ... The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Private investigator - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1324 words)
A private investigator, or PI, is a person who undertakes investigations, usually for a private citizen or some other entity not involved with a government or police organization.
Before the advent of no-fault divorce, many private investigators were hired to search out evidence of adultery or other illegal conduct within marriage to establish grounds for a divorce.
Private detectives and investigators often work irregular hours because of the need to conduct surveillance and contact people who are not available during normal working hours.
Private Investigator License (2370 words)
Also contained in the statutes of several states are provisions that require the holder of a private investigator's license to report any known unlicensed activity to the licensing agency or face administrative sanctions which can include the suspension or revocation of their license.
Parson [8], the trial court ruled a traffic accident reconstruction expert was required to hold a private investigator's license under the state law as the activities were investigative as defined in the statutes.
Since the individual did not hold a private investigator's license, the activities resulting in the collection of the evidence to be presented were obtained in violation of the state law and the expert, otherwise qualified, was not allowed to testify.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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