What Do Private Investigators Really Do?

Have you seen those movies about private investigators or detectives? You may have been misled by several myths about a Private Investigator in Knoxville, TN. You may be under the impression that private investigators are like superheroes who can fly around and reach almost anywhere.

Are you someone who feels that a Private Investigator in Knoxville, TN can perform hacking, break doors, enter any building or anyone’s house without permission, tap into phones, etc? This is not exactly what a private investigator does in reality.

A private investigator has various resources and the expertise to investigate to gather crucial information and evidence to solve a case. The role that a Private Investigator in Knoxville, TN, performs is not shown in action-adventure movies.

Here are some things that a private investigator can do and cannot do.

Can Conduct Background Checks

Private investigators can conduct background checks on people. They have access to large databases and powerful equipment that collect public information related to an individual. Background checks help to reveal a lot of information about a person, such as involvement in fraudulent activities, criminal charges, convictions, financial information, etc.

Cannot Trespass Private Property or Land

If you have heard that private investigators can go to people’s homes and offices by climbing walls, fences or any other premises, then this is not true. A private investigator cannot trespass on any personal property, building, or storage space without prior permission. However, a private investigator has the freedom to go anywhere in public.

Cannot Perform Wiretapping

As per Federal law, private investigators are barred from performing wiretapping or reading phone conversations without prior consent. This may be one-party consent (permission needed from one of the parties involved in the conversation) or two-party consent (permission needed from both the parties involved in the conversation). However, the rules regarding the recording of phone conversations differ from one state to another.

Can Interview People

Private investigators have the freedom to interview people and question them. The reason for the interview may be different. In some cases, the interview might be conducted to perform a background check, while in some other cases, the reason may be to gather information about a missing person. Getting information from people is not an easy task. However, this is what a Private Investigator in Knoxville, TN, is known to get the information that is needed.

Cannot Make Arrests

Private investigators are not police personnel. They are not allowed to arrest any person. However, if they see a crime happening in front of them, they can intervene and take the necessary steps in order to stop the crime.

Can Run a License Plate

A Private Investigator in Knoxville, TN, can run a license plate number to get crucial information about people. However, there are certain limitations and legal grounds to do the same. In order to run license plates, they need a valid and strong reason to do the same.

If you have any problem like infidelity, missing a person, locating a family member, or performing a security audit of your business premises, a Private Investigator in Knoxville, TN, can be really useful.

Uncover the truth!


Ken Shull served as a Special Agent with the FBI for almost 25 years and was head of the FBI Polygraph program until his retirement in 2001. At that time he set up the Kendall Investigations practice as a private investigator in Knoxville, TN offering Polygraph services, private investigations, and security guards. Ken is a member of the American Polygraph Association and The American Association of Police Polygraphists.

The Truth is Still the Truth Even if No One Believes it, A Lie is Still a Lie Even if Everyone Believes it.