A private investigator, an investigator, a private Detective or inquiry agent, or private investigator is someone who is able to hire people, teams or NGOs to undertake investigative activities on their behalf. Private investigators normally work on cases in which they are needed such as in fraud investigations, asset tracing, business investigation, civil litigation support, missing persons cases, and so on. They may also work on criminal cases where there is need such as witness or suspect identification, crimes against children and sex offenses. Some private investigators specialize in particular areas of investigation such as corporate and financial fraud, organized crime, white collar crime, tax evasion, witness or suspect extraction, and intelligence sources.
Many investigators work in the public sector, though there is a growing trend to work in the private sector given the increased resources that have been made available to public authorities. The Internet has made it possible for many investigators to work from remote locations thereby giving them the opportunity to conduct high-end investigations without actually having to be present. However, even with online investigations, there is always the possibility of meeting a potential client face to face. Therefore, most investigators who are in the public sector now either work on a contract basis or work for a legal firm on a permanent basis.
What is a criminal defense attorney? A private investigator works under the supervision of a licensed attorney. A criminal defense lawyer is one who is responsible for representing clients who have been accused of any type of criminal offense, even if this offense is minor. There are very limited times when private investigators may work directly for a defense attorney.
What is a forensic specialist? This is the opposite of an investigator. Forensics is the scientific study of an investigation and its results. The work performed by forensics specialists involves the examination of physical evidence as well as examining electronic data such as digital media. Forensic specialists may also work in the area of criminal law, using methods of investigation similar to those used by a defense attorney.
What is a private detective? A private detective is a professional investigator that is employed exclusively by the defense. Most private detectives will not work on a contract basis but may consult on a case if they believe that the information provided could benefit their client. These same detectives will use any means necessary to gather the evidence that is needed to defeat the opposing attorney’s case.
What is a secret agent? A secret agent is a hired employee of a law firm or private investigator. Their job is to spy on behalf of the opposing party. This person gathers information, often through confidential sources, in order to provide information that can help the lawyer to defend the client in court. Secret agents may work on a case in any jurisdiction, but the most common areas they are employed in include civil law, criminal law and corporate security.
What is an intellectual property investigator? Intellectual property attorneys are attorneys who specialize in representing clients who have created and/or are patenting intellectual property such as books, movies and music. IP attorneys are expected to be experts in the various fields of intellectual property law. They conduct thorough investigations that are often coordinated by other investigators. While these investigators do not do actual work for their clients in the courtroom, they are expected to have a thorough knowledge of the various legalities that surround such materials.
What is a corporate investigator? Corporate investigators are primarily engaged in corporate fraud cases. These investigations are carried out for the benefit of the company and may involve anything from an employee intentionally taking money without reporting it, altering records to stealing proprietary information. To successfully investigate and resolve cases involving corporate fraud, corporate investigators must have extensive knowledge of the laws surrounding such cases, a thorough understanding of the corporate structure, and a thorough understanding of the culture of the company.