Television, books, and movies have put a lot of misconceptions about private investigators into the popular imagination. Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade and Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe, to say nothing of later additions to the canon (like Moonlighting’s Maddie Hayes and David Addison) are beloved by millions, but the work they do — and the things they get away with — aren’t quite how things work out here in the real world.
One Private Investigator is As Good As the NextEven though North Carolina does a better job than most jurisdictions in regulating private investigators, the requirements set by the North Carolina Department of Public Safety’s Private Protective Services Board aren’t as rigorous as you might think. At a minimum, applicants for licensure must be at least 18 years of age, and must be a US citizen or resident alien of good moral character “with temperate habits.” Other facets of our profession, like electronic countermeasures and polygraph operation, also require licenses. However, the experience and knowledge behind that license matter as well — one way in which Barefoot Professional Investigations stands out among our competitors in the Charlotte area.
Private Investigators Can Find Nearly Any Kind of InformationBecause of our persistence and track record of success, Barefoot Professional Investigators can seem to have unusual powers of deduction. Our superpower, such as it is, lies in knowing where to look for information, including databases and other sources that are publicly available but not widely known. However, we are unable to issue warrants or subpoenas, so there are certain types of information that, legally speaking, are simply beyond our reach.
Private Investigators Can Work Miracles Through Electronics
Another way in which popular culture diverges from our profession is that we’re not miracle workers. While the climactic scene of many movies or shows will consist of the placement of a wiretap, the evidence uncovered by a phone recording, or the placement of a tracking device on a vehicle, the prosaic truth is that we don’t work that way. North Carolina is a single-consent state, meaning at least one party to a phone call or conversation must be aware that the conversation is being recorded, and must explicitly consent to our doing so. Tracking devices are subject to similar restrictions. And wiretaps can only be placed with a court-issued warrant, something that’s outside our power to obtain.