Why Do Lawyers Hire Private Investigators?
Many lawyers and law firms rely on the valuable information provided by private investigators to put together their cases and represent their clients. Considering the number of cases lawyers usually have to juggle with daily, hiring a private investigator not only gets them access to information they wouldn’t have the time or resources to access but also allows them to focus on the legal aspects of the cases and offer their clients the representation they deserve. Moreover, lawyers hire private investigators to be one step ahead of their opponents and even to make informed decisions when it comes to their firm and business partners. Here are the main reasons why lawyers work with private investigators:
To gather evidence
Gathering evidence for cases is the obvious reason to collaborate with a professional private investigator. If anyone knows how to really look at crime scene photos and discover the little things that can make or break a case is a PI. Private investigators are indispensable for any criminal defense case due to their attention to detail and investigating techniques that can bring to light new evidence. They can interview witnesses after the lawyer has already talked to them, in search of new details or to see if the witness is telling the truth and hasn’t changed their testimony. Moreover, private investigators can find new witnesses that can help stir the case in favor of the lawyer they’re working with. When working for the defense team, a PI knows how not to be distracted by the big picture and focus on the materials received from the prosecution. Based on the reports, photographs, and statements, they can seek out inconsistencies and develop new theories.
To find people
Locating missing people or people that don’t want to be found is one of the main services provided by a private investigator. Using methods like comprehensive reports and surveillance, private investigators can locate and identify witnesses whose statements are essential for the case they’re working on. They can base their investigation on just a name or even the nickname of the person. Due to their access to a multitude of resources, sometimes even the first name of the person that needs to be found is enough for the investigator to locate them. Moreover, private investigators can find new witnesses the lawyers haven’t thought of and establish a connection between them and the case. This person can be a former employee who can help with a corporate misconduct case or a witness that’s too afraid to come forward on their own. A private investigator has the right skills to find the people whose knowledge is vital for a case.
To find assets
There are numerous reasons why people would want to hide their assets. From spouses who don’t want to pay alimony or child support to employees who embezzled money from the company they’ve worked for, there are many situations when a lawyer’s case is based on finding hidden assets. A private investigator knows how to conduct a professional investigation to find the assets using legal methods so that their findings can be admissible in court. They can locate assets, such as real estate and vehicles, as well as valuable property, like jewelry and works of art, and domestic and offshore bank accounts. However, when it comes to bank accounts, because of the Right to Financial Privacy Act, there are certain limitations that private investigators need to respect. In other words, private investigators can’t force a banking institution into giving them the details of the bank accounts discovered without a court order.
To collect digital evidence
Private investigators keep up with technology and the era we’re living in and can contribute to the lawyer’s case with valuable information gathered following social media investigations. They can comb through the social media accounts of the persons of interest or the persons associated with the subjects of their investigation and discover details that help place the person at a certain date and place or even locate them when they don’t want to be found. Moreover, the discoveries gathered from social media channels can provide new evidence or motives for the lawyer’s case. Corroborating the information collected following a background search and with the data provided by a social media investigation, private investigators can make significant contributions to many cases. If there’s the need for a more thorough digital investigation, private investigators usually collaborate with digital forensic experts to retrieve information from various digital devices and recover files even after these have been deleted.
To vet employees and business partners
Hiring a private investigator to conduct a comprehensive background check on potential employees and business partners can be one of the best decision a lawyer can make. Law firms should always benefit from investigator services to obtain background information on their potential employees. This way, they can avoid exposing their company to persons who have lied in their resume, might try to commit fraud or steal information. When it comes to business partners, law firms need to know precisely that the person they’re planning to associate their name with is reliable and trustworthy. After all, the reputation and safety of their company depend on this! This is why many law firms hire detectives to conduct background checks that offer them access to information regarding the professional and criminal past of the person of interest. A private investigator knows exactly where to look and what to look for while respecting the laws and regulations.
From family matters and child custody cases to insurance fraud, corporate investigations, and criminal cases, private investigators contribute to unveiling the truth in a variety of situations. That’s why many law firms prefer to hire a private investigator full-time or establish a continuous partnership with a private investigator company that has access to a plethora of resources and information. Working with a private investigator is the fastest way to solve cases. Many times, the reputation of a law firm doesn’t only rely on the skills, wit, and determination of its lawyers, but also on the experience, knowledge, and intuition of private investigators.
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