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Can the Evidence Collected by Private Investigators be Used in Court

It’s important to understand the role that evidence can play in a potential court case. In order for evidence to be admissible, it must be relevant and reliable. Just because you have collected something that you feel could be helpful to your case doesn’t mean that it can be used in court.

Most people have some confusion about what they can and can’t use in court. That’s because the United States has the most complicated system of evidentiary rules in the world. The reasons why are because defendants have the right to a jury trial and the rules help prevent irrelevant facts from being introduced.

In this article, we’re going to discuss the different types of evidence and whether or not they can be used in court by a private detective.

Main Types of Evidence

  • Testimony. An oral statement that a witness has made in open court.

  • Real Evidence. Typically a material object of some form that can be inspected.

  • Hearsay Evidence. When a witness or individual makes a statement in the course of their testimony. It can also be referred to as an “out of court statement.”

  • Original Evidence. This is another type of “out of court statement” that is presented for a relevant purpose, such as to prove someone’s mental state.

  • Documentary Evidence. Documents that have been produced to be inspected in the courtroom. The documents can be real, original or hearsay.

Collecting Evidence

There are a number of ways to collect evidence, and hiring a private investigator is one of them. Fortunately, most of the information collected by a PI is admissible in court, providing that it was collected in a way that doesn’t break the law. This means that any photos that were taken in public and anything incriminating that was said and recorded in public can probably be used.

Right to Privacy

One issue to be aware of is that everyone has a right to privacy. If a person is talking about something incriminating in a crowded grocery store, they essentially give up that right to privacy. So, as long as the PI is collecting information without infringing on the person’s privacy, it’s completely legal and admissible.

There are times when not all information collected by a private detective is legal. If a PI breaks into a home, taps into a phone or uses a planted microphone in a private place, the evidence collected is generally not admissible in court. Because the conversations and activities occurred behind closed doors, the individual had a reasonable expectation of privacy.

When working with a PI, make sure that they are gathering information in a legal, credible way so that it will be admissible in court.

Hiring a private detective can be an excellent way to gather credible evidence that is both legal and admissible. If you would like to learn more about hiring a trustworthy, experienced detective, call All State Investigation.


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