Private Investigations Laws: How Far Can a PI Go to Investigate a Case
The Complete Guide to Laws Governing PI Work: From Audio Recording Consent to Concealed Weapons and Open Carry
For a lot of people, including many potential clients, the appeal of private investigators is the idea that they somehow operate outside the constraints of the law. They think cops and detectives are all snarled up in constitutional restraints and department policy and that PIs can go to almost any length to crack cases where the police have their hands tied.
The reality is more complicated. It’s true that private investigators are not bound by some of the restrictions that courts and legislators have placed on law enforcement, but PIs don’t get any of the special powers that cops get, either. In most states, a PI can’t go any further than your average Joe when it comes to surveillance activities and digging up dirt.
Everyday civilians don’t know where those limits are, but every PI worth their salt has to know exactly where the line is drawn. In states where PIs need a license, questions about those lines are basically the whole test.
Laws vary from state to state and you’ll have to learn about and live with the laws that are on the books wherever …read more