Differences Between a Detective and an Undercover Investigator
A private detective, a private investigator, or private investigation agent, is someone who may be employed by individuals, companies or NGOs to undertake private investigative services. Private detectives often work on cases handled by prosecutors in criminal and civil matters. They also may consult with police officers for routine business intelligence and data analysis, corporate security and investigative assignments. Private detectives may also be employed by the CIA, IRS, FBI, National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Private detectives are increasingly used by private investigators, insurance investigators, litigation support professionals and government agencies such as the CIA, FBI, IRS, Homeland Security and Defense Services and the Department of Homeland Security. They may be employed for routine surveillance of individuals. Many private detectives provide surveillance support in response to special requests made by their clients. Examples of these requests could be to investigate the activities of a suspected terrorist, check the background of employees involved in a workplace accident or to obtain financial information to protect business or personal interests.
Investigators engaged in investigation may work independently or as representatives of a law enforcement agency. Private detectives that represent the government may work on behalf of the agency they represent in a legal investigation or as an internal affairs specialist within a law enforcement agency. Internal affairs investigators conduct undercover surveillance to discover evidence of fraud, theft or misuse of professional or government services. Financial investigators may serve as a liaison between accountants and bank examiners or other enforcement personnel and financial institution personnel to detect fraud or other potential abuses of funds.
Private detectives have the benefit of anonymity when conducting investigations. Some states require them to disclose their client’s identity when reporting information provided to them in regard to a case. However, most private detectives operate in the cloak of darkness, and many carry guns when conducting investigations. Private detectives must abide by both federal and local laws and ethical obligations in order to remain legally compliant.
Private detectives gather information during their investigations through various means. They can interview witnesses, use video cameras and surveillance equipment, contact people they suspect of wrongdoing and perform search-warrant searches of the subjects’ properties and vehicles. Detectives may also use search computers and internet technology to conduct surveillance of persons or location. In some instances, detectives use confidential sources such as informers, confidential sources, and confidential sources contacts to further their investigations.
Private detectives must follow any legal requirement to keep their clients’ name anonymous in all circumstances. In order to do this, detectives must make phone calls to subjects to confirm facts surrounding the case they are investigating. If detectives are not able to get information from the subjects, they cannot proceed with the case. If they have any way to make phone calls to subjects without identifying their names, they can then refer the subject to another detective who has knowledge of the subject’s identity.
Private detectives differ from regular police officers in many ways. They have no badges, are not law enforcement officers, and are not allowed to make arrests without first receiving a court order. Because of this, it is difficult for a criminal defense attorney to know if a detective has violated a client’s constitutional rights. Many times, criminal defense attorneys will request that their clients be kept away from undercover investigators unless they have been given explicit permission to conduct secret investigations.
Another difference between a detective and an undercover investigator is that a detective is actively employed by a private investigator agency. An investigator is only hired for specific cases by a client. This means that a detective may only collect information on specific subjects or become involved in the investigation. Therefore, if the detective is doing his job correctly, he should be able to provide you with specific details about a missing person’s case or other type of missing persons case. He may even be able to give you insight into how to locate the person in question, if he has not been able to do so for some reason.