An essential part of being a private investigator is developing the ability to find, track, monitor and obtain information. These are essential skills you have to learn so you can succeed in this industry. If you will be conducting research using court records as a private investigation newbie, here are tips you should use:
Know where to look
Not every court record you need to obtain about an individual can be found in only one source. Many times, you’ll find that you will have to go through different database sources in order to obtain a comprehensive report. Certain court records, for example, may be available only through county or state databases while others will only require you to go local.
Learn how to use court records legally
If you’re a private investigation newbie, you’ve probably heard of the secret or exclusive national database that you can access in order to obtain not just court records but every other personal record known to exist on anyone in the country. Well, this is a myth.
There is one such records database but it can only be accessed and used by authorized law enforcement personnel of the FBI. In case you or someone you know obtain court records from this database through illegal means, you should understand that there are legal consequences you’ll have to face.
If you want to use court records efficiently, find out any restrictions that are in place in your state. Some states, for example, restrict the use of court records that have been sealed or expunged. There are also states that limit how you can use first-offense records or non-conviction records. These restrictions can significantly affect how efficiently you can use these court records on behalf of your client.
Learn how to interpret information
There are ways people can access court records without the help of a private investigator but many still turn to professionals for help. The reason is that there are terminologies used in court records that most people do not readily understand.
In the course of your training as a private investigator, you should be able to learn what these terminologies are. You will be able to use court records more efficiently if you can read and interpret court records without having to turn to another professional for help, saving time and money in the process.
Be careful when dealing with personal information
In your capacity as a private investigator, you are expected to be discreet about whatever information you might uncover. This is especially true if you are a newbie. Be careful about making copies of the documents, even if they are permissible copies. Do not be careless about handling them. A good part of your value as a private investigator newbie lies not just on your ability to use court records efficiently but also in helping protect an individual’s right to privacy.
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