For a private investigator to prove adultery in Maryland we need two types of evidence; (1) opportunity and (2) disposition.
Opportunity is where the investigator is able show the two people in a private area where it is possible for them to conduct sexual activity. The investigator does not have to see the actual act. The investigator would document the two people entering the location and wait to document when they exit the location. In most cases the amount of time out of view should be at least 45-60 minutes. But the length of the time period would typically be reviewed by your attorney. At that time you either have enough evidence of "opportunity" or the attorney may want more evidence.
Disposition is where the investigator is able to show what is typically referred to as PDA (public display of affection). This would be activity such as (1) walking together holding hands (2) kissing (3) walking together arm and arm (4) touching private parts, etc. Most of our client's tell us that their spouse is not affectionate. And that this type of evidence will not be possible. I have over 27 years of experience and I can that most of the time my client is wrong. A new relationship often requires this type of behavior. But there have been a few cases where PDA has not been able to be documented. One attorney explained to me that although PDA as described is great to obtain, it is can documented another way for the court. Documenting dinner for two followed by a movie and then time alone is also considered "disposition". But the attorney is this case wanted at least three situations where it appeared that they were on a "date".
Our approach is to go out and have the investigator work your case until we feel that opportunity and disposition have be documented. Then present the evidence to your attorney for review. The attorney will provide further guidance on the matter. You may find out that you are finished with the investigation or need more evidence. But the attorney will narrow down exactly what else is needed to get things finalized.
Child Custody cases usually involve gathering evidence showing that the parent uses poor judgement when caring for the child. And at times may place the child in a dangerous situation
One simple example would be the transportation of a two year old child from the residence to a local grocery store. Regardless of the distance being traveled, a responsible parent would take the time to place the child in a car seat. This is one of many things that an investigator would be watching to document during an investigation.
Dealing with an alcoholic? You're not alone. Many cases have been conducted where our investigators are monitoring the parent during the day on a Friday to see if alcohol is being consumed prior to the child being picked up from daycare. Imagine the parent sitting at a local bar consuming drink after drink prior to picking up the child. Yes, it actually happens. Our investigator would be inside documenting when each drink is started and finished. This shows "rate of consumption" and is an important part on the investigation. This evidence can be used in court.
Allegations of drug use are also a concern. This type of activity is very difficult for an investigator to document since it is a hidden activity. There have been several successful cases where the investigator was able to document "suspicious", possibly drug related activity. The first case that comes to mind is when the subject left the residence at 9pm without the 4 year old child and drove to a 7-Eleven parking lot. The subject parks at the far end of the lot meeting up with another vehicle. The subject and other male meet on foot between the two vehicles and something is exchanged. The man walks over to the subject’s vehicle without him and places something is the back seat. Although the investigator cannot testify that a drug deal was just observed, we did present the videotaped evidence in court for the judge to review. At this emergency hearing the subject was no longer allowed to have visitation with his child unless it is being supervised by someone that our client approves. So apparently the judge was not happy with the child being left alone at the house for several minutes and/or understood the possible drug situation.
Obviously there many other situations that would concern a parent when the child is in the care and custody of another person.
The way the investigation works is that you look for a "window of opportunity" where something is most likely to happen. Most people can't afford to have an investigator working 8-12 hours a day.
We would like to think that our employees are honest. But unfortunately that's not the case. If you suspect that your employee may be faking an injury, give us a call. We can discreetly check it out.
The first is to call and give us a couple of details so we can take a look at the address where surveillance may be needed. We can use Google Street View to check it out and make a recommendation.
If you know of an upcoming doctors appointment, that is a good time to have an investigator take a look. Most of the time the investigator would wait at the appointment address in the event the subject may think someone is watching. That allows the subject to leave the residence and see that no one is around. We can get video of the subject arriving at the appointment. When the subject exits from the appointment, the investigator can follow and document any other activities performed.
We would also take a look at Maryland Case Search to see if there may be any upcoming court cases for the subject. This is an excellent time to catch the subject off guard and collect evidence.
Some employers call because they have heard rumours that the subject is working another job on the side. This is a very common occurrence. In a situation like this the investigator would get to the residence very early in the morning and watch for the subject to leave or get picked up.
In all of these situations we prepare a detailed report and integrate time stamped photographs. Any videotape evidence would be made available online through a private link that can be viewed using a cell phone, tablet or desktop computer. All the evidence that we gather can be made available to your insurance carrier or attorney.
We typically get a request to document this type of activity when there are children at risk. The child custody menu option discusses this type of situation. But there are other situations where having an investigator document someone drinking too much and possibly driving or doing drugs.
There have been cases where there is a court order for the subject to not consume any alcohol, ever. The subject may have made a statement in court that they do not drink any longer, which could have helped out with a custody situation. Some court conditions require the subject to abstain from alcohol when they have the child with them. But if the subject tried to impress the court that they NEVER drink alcohol any longer, then the investigator can help our client prove the lie.
If our investigator is with the subject at a bar, we would count the number of drinks consumed during the subject’s time there. And get video of the subject driving away.
As for drug use, that's much more difficult to prove since it is typically hidden from view. But with that said, people get high and then are not making the best of decisions.
Having worked as a private investigator in Maryland for over 28 years, I can tell you that this is the more difficult part of an investigation to prove.
The use of illegal drugs is typically something that a person will work very hard to hide from public view.
I've had a client tell me that their spouse is doing cocaine in the men's room at a local bar. Expecting that activity to be in plan view if the investigator were to walk in on them. It just doesn't happen that way.
Here are a few situations where we have been successful.
Two investigators followed our client's wife and two small children one day. The children were 3 and 4 years old, both using car seats. She drove downtown into a bad area and would just keep circling around, up and down a two to three block area. This became very awkward and challenging for the investigators since they would be easily noticed. It became a game of cat and mouse. Finally the subject pulled up to the curb and a man that was standing there quickly reached into the passenger window and the subject drove away. The investigator that was video taping the event remained parked up the street and did not try to follow the subject. The other investigator that was around the corner, out of view, continued following the subject. The subject drove to a CVS and entered the store alone. Yes, leaving both of the children unattended inside the vehicle. The investigator pulled up next to the passenger side of the subject’s vehicle and hide out in the back behind his tinted windows hoping to see what may have been possible purchased in the street corner meeting. Well it didn't take long. The subject returned and pulled a syringe out of the CVS bag. Wrapped a cord around her are an injected a substance. The investigator was able to videotape this activity from start to finish, with the kids still inside the vehicle. Our client's attorney requested an emergency hearing. The evidence was presented in court and the children were placed in the sole custody of our client. The subject agreed to immediately see treatment.
Something little less dramatic would be a case 20 years ago where the subject is suspected to smoking marijuana. Luckily the subject’s residence was easy for an investigator to park, hide out, and watch for the subject to sit on the front porch. It only took a couple of tries but the investigator was able to videotape the activity. Now the difficult part is that the investigator cannot testify that the subject is doing drugs. The investigator does not have the ability to verify the product being smoked. But the handling of the product as it is being smoked is usually obvious as to whether it is a cigarette or marijuana. It also helps if there is another person there and the product is being shared. In any case, civil matters usually just require evidence to be "what would a logical person conclude" was happening. In this situation I'm sure the judge would know.
One last real case situation. The father has the child every other weekend. The use of marijuana has been an issue in his past and has been admitted to in front of the judge. But having cleaned up his act, he only drinks beer now. No more drug use. The client wanted surveillance at the subject’s residence but the layout makes it impossible. The investigator suggested watching the subject’s work to see if he sat in his vehicle smoking anything before beginning his shift. And then return later in the day to cover his lunch period. Since this did not require a large number of hours, we agreed to schedule surveillance for the entire week. Things eventually worked out for our client. The subject had somewhat of a routine of smoking marijuana during his lunch break in his vehicle. He would drive to a local 7-Eleven to get something to eat and drink. Then he would park away from other vehicles in the same parking lot. People are creatures of habit. Which allowed the investigator to outsmart the subject by, on the fourth time, to just park in the lot by 7-Eleven and hide out in the back of his vehicle. Sure enough, the subject pulls up right next to the investigators vehicle and we get great videotape evidence.
Several times a year we get a call that our client believes that they are being watched and/or followed in their vehicle. It can also be a feeling of not being safe at home.
These are things we take very seriously.
One client would hear various noises outside her residence while sleeping. She would never see anyone moving around but the following morning. But upon looking around outside she would see a potted plant that was moved or pieces of concrete laying around loose. We had the investigator setup a motion alarm in the backyard that would be received inside the investigators vehicle. The investigator parked in the client's driveway and hid out in the backseat. The client was able to get a couple of nights good rest knowing we were watching. Conclusion, the motion alarm when off the third night. The investigator discovered a Raccoon running around. Nothing else was ever discovered.
If you suspect that you are being followed in a vehicle, we can help. We layout a plan of addresses that you should visit. Our investigator will be behind you watching for anything suspicious and get the tag number. If we are positive that the suspicious vehicle is the one seen by the client in the past, the investigator would follow and try and get video of the person.
There are other similar situations that people face. We are here to listen and help.
There are situations where our client needs to know if someone is living with someone else. It isn't always a marital issue.
We can have an investigator document anyone entering or exiting a residence. This is assuming surveillance at the address is even possible. Not all locations are conducive to surveillance.
Our investigator investigator would arrive at the residence and hid out if the rear seat behind tinted windows. Any vehicles at the residence would be photographed and tag numbers documented.
Anyone entering or exiting the residence would be videotaped.
Our investigator would communicate anything observed to your while on-site and send photographs of any movement.
We work to your schedule. There is a two hour on-site minimum. You can have surveillance stopped at that point or take it one hour at a time for as long as necessary.
The results of the investigation would be typed up in a report with integrated photographs. Any important videotape evidence would be made available for you by providing an online link.
GPS tracking devices are extremely helpful and a great way to reduce the number of surveillance hours needed to gather evidence.
The device can be hidden inside the vehicle or attached under the vehicle using the optional magnets.
There are a lot of devices are available for purchase on the internet. We have over 20 years experience using these devices and will be able to point you in the right direction.
We are frequently asked to conduct surveillance after our client has already purchased a GPS device. Unfortunately the client picked a cheap device where the battery only last 3-10 days. There are dependable devices out there that will last a month or longer before needing to be recharged. We recommend the device listed below. Order directly from Lonestar and if you are attaching the device under the vehicle, also order the magnetics.
YABBY3 BY LONESTAR
MAGNETS FOR DEVICES ABOVE
The more frequently the device updates (reports a location to the internet) the more power that is used. So I have my device set to update every 5 minutes while there is movement. And then the device sleeps when parked.
Some devices can report every 5 seconds and other devices never go to sleep. Both of these methods use up precious battery life. You'll then be required to risk removing the device to charge it up or replace batteries. My personal choice is to place the device once and get the most information out of it before needing to charge it.
A private investigator near me provides surveillance services in Annapolis, Maryland.
The device listed above can be placed (hidden) inside a vehicle or if you purchase the magnetics ($9.95), it can be attached under the vehicle to the metal frame. Once the device is attached, you can begin tracking by using a regular computer via the internet or the companies free app on your phone.
The link above will take you directly to the company's website and the device; Yabby3. The Yabby3 is small and easy to hide. When ordering the device you will see drop down boxes. Select "5 minute" updates, month to month billing.
No GPS device is perfect. Things can go wrong with any technology. Placement is everything. Always test things out before needing it for a critical situation.