Private investigators are more than khaki trench coats, fedora hats, and a big bulky camera. They play a critical role in uncovering the truth and battling injustice, but in doing so, they have to maintain boundaries. As important as it is to find the truth, it is even more crucial to follow the law and remain ethical. Sometimes, the practices followed by a private investigator might seem out of line, which begs the question, “Can private investigators be charged with stalking?” In this blog, we are here to discuss what makes a private investigator and whether or not their field of work is considered “stalking.” To learn more, make sure to keep on reading this blog.
Is Investigation The Same as Stalking?
Private investigators are hired to gather information, often involving discreet surveillance and background checks. However, the line between lawful investigation and illegal stalking can be thin and easily crossed. It is important to be able to recognize the differences between the two, as it might border against the law, leading to legal repercussions.
Stalking is generally considered an act of harassment, where a person shadows a victim, taking note of their every movement, action, and word. It involves a pattern of repeated, unwanted attention, contact, or any other behavior that might give way to fear or emotional distress within the victim. However, it is essential to keep in mind that when it comes to stalking, intent can significantly impact the underlying connotations of one’s actions.
That is to say; if the person tailing after another isn’t doing it to intentionally harm the other, then it might not be stalking but rather a detailed mode of investigation. This is because investigations are meant as a deep dive into a person or event, which means thorough inquiry and studying.
Can a Private Investigator be Charged With Stalking?
Private investigators have to stick to a set of ethical and legal guidelines that justify their actions. Investigators also have to obtain proper consent before diving into a case. They tend to refrain from engaging in intrusive or intimidating behavior as that could trigger a case of stalking. If the victim or investigated person has evidence proving that the PI was stalking them over to their house and had bugged their communication lines, it could result in an intense court case.
However, if a private investigator uses legal methods to obtain information, such as public record searches, interviews, and surveillance within legal limits, this would count as a safe barrier. As long as they stay within these boundaries and investigate accordingly, they can not come under the light for stalking.
Ultimately, private investigators have to make sure that the evidence they gather is admissible in court. Most security service organizations work with strict rules that help to protect their investigators from legal consequences.
All in all, as long as private investigators adhere to ethical guidelines, obtain consent, and respect privacy laws when conducting an investigation, they are safe. However, if they are found to be crossing these boundaries and damaging the law, a private investigator might have to be charged with stalking charges in court. For more information and quality PIs, contact Main Security & Investigations at (281) 574-1871.