Annotated Bibliography: the Private Investigator

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Annotated Bibliography: The Private Investigator

Regina Harris
University of Phoenix
Axia College

There are many exciting opportunities that exist in a career as a Private Investigator (P.I.). Working along with other law enforcement agencies, the court systems, lawyers and assisting a number of clients in the field would be a factor to helping others. A professional Private Investigator assists with crimes in businesses, insurance compensation claim frauds and other Private Investigators. Licensed Private Investigators work for some attorney’s in civil cases or on the behalf of defense attorney’s. (E Investigator.com, 2009) Some adventures with assisting others include but are not limited to locating neglectful parents, domestic investigations, or doing background checks on babysitters. To excel as a Private Investigator, one must be professional and have belief in the ability to handle any situation.

The first priority of being a Private Investigator is the training. Many states may or may not be able to carry firearms depending on local laws. (E Investigator.com, 2009) In most states, to become a Private Investigator one is required to be licensed. Some Private Investigator also has a college education and/or with some previous experience in doing investigations. Many people become Private Investigators after graduation from college with an associate or bachelor’s degree. The more experience and the more contacts they gain would better the chances of an increased income. Every state that requires a license to be a Private Investigator requires a background investigation a part of the licensing process. If one has had a felony conviction then that would be an automatic disqualification. Misdemeanors depending on the crime would be considered for the approval of a license. (Harrell, 2005) In 2006 education that was achieved for a Private Investigator, in percents, as listed below. (Figure 1) 18% of high school graduate or equivalent had become a Private Investigator. At 26% some had some college with no degree, 8% had an associate degree, 34% had a master’s degree and 3% had a professional degree or PHD. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2008-09)

Figure 1

The National Association of Legal Investigators has a different qualification of Private Investigators. The standards for a P. I. to be a legal investigator with that company are that one must meet professional requirements and must pass a written and oral examination. With this qualification one must have a license in the state of which he or she is practicing or employed. The Private Investigator must also have a minimum of 5 years work experience as a full-time negligence investigator for plaintiffs and/or as a criminal defense investigator. (National Associate of Legal Investigators, Inc., 2008)

In the Department of Criminal Justice Service in Virginia, a training course consists of 60 hours of learning. The orientation for the training of a Private Investigator last approximately 6 hours. This includes the Code of Virginia, the Administrative Code, the standard professional code and the code of ethic. One would have 16 hours plus a practical exercise on the Law. The basic laws are legal procedures and due process. It also consists of civil law, criminal law, evidence and legal privacy law. Then there would be a 16 hour plus a practical exercise on general investigative skills like the tools and techniques of investigating. One would get eight hours and an exercise of documentation, which includes reports, preparation and more. Last but not least, they offer a 14 hour and practical exercise on the different types of investigators. (Deparment of Criminal Justice Services , 1998-2009). Training is not always easy in a job. It will teach an Investigator how to do the job, maintain the services, complete the job and how to stay safe in doing the job. Being a P.I. is a great challenge but someone has to do it. The goal of a professional Private...
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