Do Professional Investigators Testify in Court?

The investigative and consultative work performed by Charlotte private investigators like Barefoot Professional Investigations is important to our clients. However, many of those clients — including attorneys and law enforcement — understand that investigations easily take on a life of their own. We don’t always set out to find criminal activity, but because our responsibility is to follow the evidence where it takes us, it’s an occasional reality of the job. In other cases, attorneys may reach out to us to fill in gaps, confirm information, or interview witnesses, secure in the knowledge that what we gather will stand up in court — and so will our investigators.

 

Evidence Gathered by a Charlotte Private Investigator

Barefoot Professional Investigators covers a wide range of investigative services, from background checks to witness interviews, and computer forensics. In all that we do, we’re performing a balancing act between federal law, state law, local regulations, and even the private investigator’s code of ethics laid out by professional bodies like the NCAPI.

That evidence falls under two main categories: admissible and inadmissible evidence. Admissible evidence encompasses testimony, physical evidence, original evidence (often gleaned from observation, surveillance, or witness interviews), and documentary evidence gathered from investigations; sometimes these categories overlap, as with hard drives and their contents examined in the course of computer forensics (the drives are physical evidence, but observational and documentary evidence stem from our investigative process and the things we uncover). 

Inadmissible evidence like hearsay evidence may not be brought forth in court. However, it still plays an important role in establishing context (or for use in cases with a lower burden of proof).

 

Why an Experienced Professional Investigator Matters

Once something makes its way to a courtroom, the stakes are high and there’s little room for error. Ethics and integrity matter, but so too does the experience to handle oneself properly on the stand. Our long experience in courtroom testimony reveals itself in a few important ways.

 

  • We keep our answers factual, honest, and straight to the point.
  • We’re respectful of the process, of the court, and of counsel on both sides — even under pressure.
  • We’re confident in our methods and the work product that results.

 

That experience results in testimony that’s trustworthy and effective.

 

Private Investigations and Attorney-Client Privilege

As we draw to a close, we come to a point where we’d usually invite you to get in touch for a consultation on your case. This is an exception. 

Privilege — the privacy that attaches to the attorney-client relationship — gets complicated when there are third parties like a professional witness or professional investigator involved, and if it’s not approached properly, you could leave yourself legally vulnerable. So if you’re a citizen wondering whether a detective agency in Charlotte, NC is right for your ongoing criminal case, do not call us. Speak to your lawyer, and determine your course of action based on their advice; if you agree that a PI would help, your attorney will initiate contact. 

However, if you’re an attorney reading this who does not already have a relationship with Barefoot Professional Investigations, we invite you to call with your needs and any questions you may have. We have extensive experience in evidence gathering, witness interviews, and court testimony, and will be glad to help.