Top 4 Things Private Investigator Cannot Do

You thought private investigators can help you in everything? You are wrong! There are some misconceptions that they can handle everything. The thing is that there are laws that restrict them from doing it.

Basically, private investigators receive thousands of calls and emails every year. The requests they receive are reasonable and logical. However, not all people understand that these people work within the laws. That is why I am compiling a small list of the type of request your PI will never do for you.

1. Recording private conversation

An investigator is not allowed to record anything without the knowledge of the other party. This actually depends on the states. Some allow one individual to be informed while in others it’s enough to have the consent of a single participant in the conversation. This implies that you cannot hire a PI with the intention of recording a conversation when you are not present. This rule basically applies to private investigations but it is also a fair game if it happens in public areas. A conversation happening in public and is loud enough to be recorded or overheard is pretty legal for investigators.

2. Access protected information

Although PI is entitled to finding, tracking and gaining access to information, there are limits for that. He/she doesn’t have the power to hack into the bank, government, or hospital servers. Information protected by law either federal or state is protected for such cases. Some of these protected documents include the following;
– Financial records – PI can track your accounts but they will not see the information or balance in your account.
– Phone records – Again, PI can tell if you have a criminal record but they are not entitled to gaining access to the actual record. This also applies to credit checks, personal phone records, and court documents.

3. Making Arrests

You should understand that the private investigators are not police officers. They have no right to arrest you. In case their investigation uncovers a crime, then their work is to inform the police to make the arrest. This rule can have exceptions, if the PI has been instructed he/she may perform a specific arrests but it will depend on the case, state laws, or local police. In some states, PIs are authorised to make an arrest if they come across anyone committing a federal crime.

4. Place a GPS tracker on your car without your knowledge

No one should place a GPS tracker on your vehicle without your consent. A PI will place the tracker with the knowledge of the owner. For instance, a wife cannot track your car unless if the car is registered by her name and vice versa. The same case applies to an employer. He/she cannot track your car unless if it is a company-owned vehicle.


Whether you are looking for a Private investigator to help you gather evidence, investigate scams or unfaithful spouse, you have to note that they are laws, rules, and regulations which can make the whole process challenging.