"Bending the rules every now and then is not that big of a deal."
Unfortunately there are former private investigators that now disagree with that statement. Taking "short-cuts" can lead to the development of habits. When private investigators are caught bending the rules the consequences have long-term consequences. Bending the rules, no matter how slight the infraction, will create consequences for your colleagues.
We have all seen news stories of private investigators that have been arrested or lost their license. Allegations range from impersonating a police officer, illegal wiretapping, to intimidating witnesses in criminal proceedings. There are many other situations, many that never make the news outlets, where private investigators lose their ability to practice their trade for ethics violations. Falsifying reports, billing statements, and other ethics violations that at the time where not considered a "big deal" to the investigator.
When a private investigator is caught bending the rules the consequences are far reaching. Not only do they risk their ability to practice their trade as an investigator they can endanger the case for their client. If caught falsifying, or as one said, "stretching the truth", can lead to the client losing their case. The costs are considerable to the private investigator, their current client and potentially past clients.
There is a camaraderie among private investigators that is evident when ever a group gets together whether at a convention or a private investigator organization meeting. Private investigators that get the reputation of bending the rules often become outcasts. Why? The actions of one private investigator negatively impacts the profession. When a news story breaks in a community about a private investigator caught in an unethical practice, how does that impact the remaining investigators? The public can be less inclined to employ a private investigator when needed.
If you ever consider "bending the rules" to complete an investigation, know that when you are discovered the impacts are long-term, they impact others such as your clients and your colleagues.
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