What is a Civil Investigation?
A civil investigation uncovers and assembles evidence necessary for a civil trial.
A civil trial is a type of court case involving two individual citizens who disagree on an issue that relates to their rights as citizens. For example, if one person sues another for damages caused by a domestic accident, the case will likely be conducted as a civil trial. Civil investigators are responsible for gathering the evidence essential to such a trial.
Civil Cases vs Criminal Cases
Though often confused, civil and criminal cases are different and are therefore investigated differently.
What is a civil case?
Civil cases are private disputes between individuals or organizations in which a person or entity will bring forward complaints that another person or entity failed to uphold their legal duty. The accusatory party will usually ask for completion of the duty and compensation for the harm done.
A private investigator can be hired by one or both parties involved and can gather evidence in a reliable, legal manner.
What is a criminal case?
Criminal cases are situations in which a person is charged formally by the government on behalf of the people. It isn’t the victim’s responsibility to bring forth a criminal case and sometimes there isn’t even a specific victim. The result of a criminal case is a sentence that could include a monetary penalty, imprisonment, or supervision in the community. Investigation methods are usually determined by the government rather than the individuals involved.
What are common types of civil investigations?
While there are many kinds of civil investigations, some of the more common ones are:
Child custody and abuse investigations: This type of investigation reveals the potential negligence and mistreatment of children.
What happens in a civil investigation?
A civil investigation typically begins with analysis. A private investigator will meet with the person initiating the investigation in order to discuss the goals and budget of the investigation. The investigator will then conduct their investigation utilizing a variety of investigative techniques to gather relevant evidence. Depending on the individual investigation, they may use surveillance, background checks, forensic investigation, asset searches, witness examination, and other methods. The investigator will then discuss their findings with the client and, if needed, create an official report or act as an expert witness.
What kind evidence does a civil investigator look for?
• Financial documents (checks, bank statements, etc.)
• Computer and cell phone activity (emails, texts, GPS, etc.)
• Statements from friends, family, and colleagues
Do you need a civil investigation?
If you are going to be involved in a court case, a civil investigation may be essential. Unbiased proof can be the determining factor in any case. A private investigator can acquire this evidence in a professional and legal way.