Should I Hire a Private Investigator in a Domestic Violence Case?

Domestic Violence

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have experienced domestic violence by an intimate partner during their lifetime. The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office found that domestic violence has many forms including physical aggression, sexual abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, stalking, or financial abuse. Here are some facts to consider if you’ve been wondering if you should hire a private investigator.

What Does a Private Investigator Do for My Case?

If you’re asking yourself, “Should I hire a private investigator,” here are some things to consider. Domestic violence is often difficult to prove because many victims are hesitant to report the abuse. He or she is embarrassed, does not realize the seriousness of the problem, is too frightened, or the abuser threatens to take away the children and/or withhold access to the funds to pay expenses. 

Furthermore, domestic violence often occurs on private property and often without witnesses. In cases where there is stalking or coercive control, there may be no obvious proof of psychological and verbal abuse.

A family lawyer will initiate the necessary legal action to obtain domestic violence restraining orders, as well as orders for custody and support. They will also work with you to retain a private investigator (P.I.). A P.I. will help with obtaining evidence of abuse to support the legal action. 

A private investigator can obtain evidence using various means. There are several ways an investigator can find supporting evidence including the following.

  • Doing a background investigation of the abuser to find prior instances of domestic violence, news articles, arrest/convictions, and family members, friends, and co-workers to interview.
  • Taking pictures of injuries from physical abuse, and documenting the time and date they occur.
  • Looking for GPS devices on cars, illegal spyware on telephones, and evidence of stalking the victim online to prove tracking, stalking, verbal or emotional abuse.
  • Installing equipment including hidden cameras, if appropriate. 

If You Have Been Charged with Domestic Abuse

There are high stakes associated with domestic violence charges against you because your parenting rights, reputation, job, and ability to obtain credit are affected by allegations of abuse, and criminal charges may be pursued for which you could serve jail time. The cost to hire a private investigator may be worth it because they can help you obtain evidence to clear you of the charges. 

JWB Family Law has an expert team that knows how to partner with private investigators for a variety of domestic violence cases. If you’ve been wondering if you should hire a private investigator, contact us today and we’ll help you through the process.

The Importance of the CFLS Designation

A Certified Family Law Specialist, or CFLS, is an attorney who has obtained certification in the standards of California family law and demonstrated optimal legal competence. Attorneys who obtain this certification have specific expertise in all aspects of family law, which includes divorce or the dissolution of marriagechild and spousal support, child custody, and temporary restraining orders, among other areas of emphasis.

Not every attorney practicing family law has obtained this certification. In fact, the designation remains relatively rare—there are fewer than 2,000 CFLS attorneys in California and fewer than 200 in San Diego.

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