The Legality of Hiring a Private Investigator

Private Investigator: Is Hiring a PI Legal?

The world is an imperfect place and in some cases, this imperfection demands action that we would rather not have to take. This includes hiring a private investigator. While we hope that you would never be faced with a situation that warrants hiring a private investigator, S2 Consultant also wants to be a safe and secure service to you if you do need a PI. Before hiring a PI, however, it’s important to understand the legality of private investigation, which we are discussing in today’s blog post.

Private Investigators are Not Law Enforcement

While hiring a PI is completely legal, it is crucial for the person hiring to understand that private investigators only have so much authority. PI’s do have more flexibility, in the sense that they aren’t restricted by protocols and state or county lines, they also have very little enforcement jurisdiction in those areas. Meaning, a private investigator can provide surveillance and gather intel, but they cannot perform other actions that law enforcement can. The only instance in which a PI could actually enforce would be if they saw a person committing a crime, to which they could make a citizen’s arrest. So, if you are expecting your PI to enforce whatever justice you may feel necessary, you are going to be in for a disappointment.


When you hire a private investigator, you are not hiring that person to enforce some sort of vigilante justice. You are hiring a PI to investigate and report. It is at that point that you make the decision on whether or not law enforcement needs to be brought in. As for your role in keeping the investigation legal, don’t push for your investigator to do something you know is beyond the law, and hire a reputable firm like S2 Consultant to know that the person working your case is legitimate.

Keep Your Requests in the Open

There is a very fine line in this industry between legal investigation and illegal activity. For example, if you are wanting to investigate a business partner because you think he or she is doing something, a PI can do a number of things to investigate. However, hacking into your partner’s personal computer to see his records is not one of them.


The safest way to keep your investigation safe and legal is to keep everything in the light and on the surface. There are legal things that an investigator can do without their subject’s knowledge, such as surveilling social media and researching criminal records or court documents. A reputable investigative service like S2 Consultant will have legal certifications that allow them to access more personal documents while staying within the requirements of the law.

Let S2 Consultant Help

Hiring a private investigator can be a risky business. You need to get answers, but you don’t want to commit a crime or cause any unnecessary strife for yourself. Leave it to the professionals at S2 Consultant to take it out of your hands. Contact us today at (417) 894-7080.