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5 Myths of Private Investigators

If you think that private investigators act the way they are characterized in films or television shows, your view of their daily lives may be significantly skewed.

While these fictional scenarios are entertaining, they fail to accurately mirror the life of a private investigator.

Here are 5 Private Investigator Myths Dispelled:

  1. Myth #1: Days are filled with action and suspense – Unlike a Hollywood thriller, most days are not characterized by high-speed car chases. An investigator spends a significant portion of their time gathering information and assessing the evidence that is pertinent to their client and/or usable in a court of law. This might include hours alone in a car to get a single piece of evidence, where it’s imperative to not lose focus despite the monotonous circumstances.
  2. Myth #2: They wear trench coats or dress mysteriously – While it may seem convenient to picture an investigator dressed in a stealth outfit, realistically this type of attire would work against the approach an investigator desires. The hope is to blend into the surroundings, appearing like an indistinguishable “regular Joe.” This means that an investigator will dress appropriately for the given situation. As an example, he might wear jeans and a t-shirt to the mall or slacks and a dress shirt to a restaurant.
  3. Myth #3: Following someone is easy – Detection is something an investigator hopes to avoid since it could result in a target deterring from natural activity. Therefore, maintaining a safe distance is valuable when following someone. However, the larger the distance the more difficult it is to follow. Think of purposely following a friend who knows that you’re doing so, and how easy it is to run into difficulty due to traffic lights, other vehicles etc. Due to these issues, using a multiple person team helps streamline the process.
  4. Myth #4: PI’s have similar authority to policemen and can circumvent the law – Investigators, like all civilians, are subject to the law. Therefore, they must obey the law, and cannot trespass, or impersonate individuals to obtain information. In fact, an experienced individual will understand how evidence is obtained and used in a court of law and will follow the proper precautions to ensure they do not overstep their bounds.
  5. Myth #5: PI’s are rogue individuals, who are not compassionate – Most investigators understand that their clients are searching for the truth in the hopes of obtaining peace of mind. They also are aware that this information can be difficult to digest and will show compassion when they communicate with them during these difficult situations.

Ultimately, the lives of private investigators may not be as exotic as the manner they are portrayed on television. However, that doesn’t mean that the work is not exciting and rewarding.

So if you believe an investigator can help you out with your situation, find a licensed investigator to discuss how they will realistically approach your case.

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