Debunking the Myths: Is It Ever Illegal to Hire a Private Investigator?

The simple answer to this question is, no, it is not illegal to hire a private investigator. In fact, anyone who wishes to hire a PI can do so with the same legality as hiring an attorney. However, although the act of hiring a PI is legal, clients (and their private investigators) can get into trouble as a result of illegal actions and carrying out unscrupulous requests. Before getting into the particulars, clients must understand that private investigators have no additional legal or law enforcement powers than any ordinary citizen has. So, if a PI gets hired, the client has brought on a private citizen to conduct an investigation. 

At Cowan Investigations, Bob Cowan, founding detective and former Jersey City Chief of Police, knows the law and is experienced in carrying out entirely legal investigations and getting desired results. He has the skills, technology, and experience to stay within the law while collecting admissible evidence for cases involving child custody, alimony payments, and spousal infidelity. Additionally, Cowan turns down all requests he deems immoral or illegal, guaranteeing every case he handles is above-board.

The Wrong Side of the Law

Unfortunately, many clients and private investigators believe that PIs are above the law and hire one to fulfill illegal or morally-questionable duties. In these rare instances, hiring a private investigator is unlawful and can result in inadmissible evidence in court, significant criminal fines, personal injuries, or property destruction, as well as even the arrest of the client or the PI.

Some examples of illegal requests and actions include: 

  • Breaching privacy and human rights laws
  • Wanting to harm, injure, or terrorize someone
  • Trespassing
  • Secretly bugging or wiretapping a private residence without consent
  • Computer hacking
  • Obtaining information through disregarding legal procedure 

If a PI knowingly agrees to conduct an investigation requiring he or she carry out the above actions, that investigator could be in hot water when the truth eventually comes out. 

The Right Side of the Law

The success and legality of a detective’s investigation rest on the moral character of the PI, the client’s intentions, how information is collected, and how the information is used. As a trusted alimony investigator serving Monmouth County, NJ, as well as the rest of the state, Bob Cowan of Cowan Investigations conducts purely legal and ethical private detective work. Instead of trespassing or breaching personal privacy, Cowan utilizes Freedom of Information laws for legitimate information requests and can perform a citizen’s arrest in some instances. 

The law is designed for the safety and benefit of those working within its deliberate constructs. Therefore, it is perfectly legal to hire a PI, provided the client and the private investigator keep to a high moral code and conduct the investigation only through lawful means. Cowan is an authorized private investigator of cheating spouses in Monmouth County, NJ, along with the rest of New Jersey, and is well-versed in the laws that inform his practice and investigative decisions. For more information about Cowan Investigations or to hire a reliable PI, call Bob Cowan, and make a free 30-minute appointment today.