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Private Investigators and Bail Condition Surveillance

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Surveillance is probably one of the most commonly used private investigation techniques in Canada and the United States. The reason for this isn’t all due to infidelity cases—despite what some people might think. It’s true! When it comes to surveillance, the possibilities are endless.

A private investigator or private investigation company will take on surveillance cases to prove insurance fraud, validate work compensation claims, and even check out motor vehicle accident applications that seem a little fishy. All of these scenarios require a licenced private investigator’s special set of skills in order to prove whether or not an individual is telling the truth about their injuries, the damage done to property, and so on.

But did you know that private investigators are also called in to help in criminal cases? Quite often, when bail is set for someone, a lawyer (or other party) calls in a private investigator to help determine whether or not the accused is following his or her bail conditions.


What Are Bail Conditions?

If a person has committed a crime, they have the option to pay bail. Paying bail secures a court date for that individual, which means that they must show up to receive an official sentence for the crime committed.

In some situations, the person accused will also receive bail conditions. Bail conditions are a set of rules that the person must follow in order to be released from jail, and before their court date.

Examples of Bail Conditions
Bail conditions can vary from case to case. They are often determined by the severity of the crime. It’s important to note that bail and bail conditions differ depending on where the accused lives, and where the crime was committed.

For example, in Canada, recent news outlets have focused on a man with suspected ties to terrorist organizations. While he has not yet been deported, his bail conditions were severe. While he was allowed a limited freedom, every move he made was under constant surveillance. In this situation, the bail conditions were so extreme that the man in question chose to go to jail instead.

Other examples of bail conditions include,

  • Zero communication and contact between the accused and the accuser.
  • No communication with anyone also accused of the same crime (co-accused).
  • The accused is not allowed to go to a specific place or be within a specific distance of that place.
  • The accused can only leave their home between specific hours, if at all (house arrest).
  • The accused receives a curfew during specific hours, typically overnight.

The individual must know and understand their bail conditions. If they break any of their bail conditions they risk facing more jail time and a much harsher sentence.

Why Are Bail Conditions Important?

The primary purpose of bail is to make sure that the person accused of a crime will show up in court after they are released. Bail conditions are important because they help to set the parameters around the accused person’s release. For example, if they are suspected of committing a particularly terrible crime, they will likely get house arrest. If the person is accused of harassment, they likely will need to stay away from the person they harassed.


Private Investigators, Surveillance and Broken Bail Conditions

There are absolutely situations where an individual breaks their bail conditions. Despite all of the penalties and other problems that come from breaking bail conditions, people still take the risk.

When these types of situations occur, where a person is suspected of breaking their bail conditions, a private investigators or private investigation company is often hired to help. There are many licensed private investigators like the Smith Investigation Agency who provide services in Ontario, Canada and the rest of the United States. These private investigators specialize in solving these types of cases.

Surveillance and Broken Bail Conditions
The primary technique private investigators use in theses cases is surveillance. The reason why they use this technique is because it allows them to watch the suspect closely, without getting caught.

Gather the Facts
When it comes to surveillance and bail conditions cases, the first thing that a good private investigator will do is learn more about the individual. They will need to know the exact details of the person’s bail conditions, what conditions they are suspected of breaking and any other information relevant to the case.

Watch (Survey) the Suspect
Once the private investigator has this information, they can begin their surveillance. What this means is that the private investigator will watch the individual to determine if they are in fact breaking their bail conditions. Surveillance is generally fairly straightforward. The private investigator will sit in a parked vehicle near the individual’s home. Should the individual leave their home, the private investigator will tail them to their next location.

Record the Facts
While a private investigator watches the person they must stay alert. Staying alert allows them to correctly assess the situation and make clear, concise reports. Reports are a critical element to the private investigation process. They help the private investigator to recall information as well as provide evidence and proof of the suspect’s actions.

Surveillance Tools
During surveillance of a person who might be breaking their bond conditions, a private investigator might also use tools like video recording devices or cameras. These tools help the private investigator to provide additional proof or evidence to support their case.

Punishment for Breaking Bail Conditions
As previously mentioned breaking bail conditions is a serious offence. Bail conditions are not given lightly. They are always given in the interest of protecting the public. Therefore, it is extremely important to hire good private investigators to handle these types of cases. Hiring a good private investigator ensures that the case is solved quickly, efficiently and correctly.

In Ontario, Canada, when a private investigator uncovers evidence of breaking bail conditions, it can be used against the accused in a court of law. If the individual is found guilty of the crime, they can receive a much steeper punishment. If the individual is found innocent, but is caught committing another crime, it becomes much more difficult to get bail a second time. If the individual was unable to comply with bail conditions the first time, the courts have no reason to think that they will comply the second time.

The bottom line is, individuals who have been caught via surveillance failing to comply with their bail conditions will not look good in court. The judge will certainly not be impressed with the individual’s lack of remorse and this could absolutely have an impact on the rest of their life.


There’s Always a Few Bad Apples in Every Bunch

The good news is most private investigators are not called in to check up on every single person who has received bail conditions. For the most part, people tend to respect the options presented to them.

Unfortunately, not everyone seems to agree. This is why hiring a private investigator to conduct surveillance on these individuals is a great way to curb this type of behaviour. Bail conditions are serious business, and private investigators help to prove that following the law is really in everyone’s best interest.

About the Author

Whitney Joy Smith

Founder of The Smith Investigation Agency in 2014, Whitney Joy Smith’s extensive background as a private investigator is matched only by her passion for the role. A graduate of several respected institutions, including Northwest Florida State College and George Brown College, her early years in life were spent between Canada and the United States. This education, along with her formative years as a private investigator in various agencies, informed much of her knowledge of private investigative laws, regulations, and operating standards in both countries.

The recipient of numerous industry awards and accolades, including the Consumers Choice Award, Best in Ottawa, and many others, Whitney takes pride in working closely with her ever-growing agency to raise the bar, maintain compliance, and meet the investigative needs of clients. Whitney is active in various membership and supporting roles, including the CPIRC, CBN, CAPI, Canadian Women’s Chamber of Commerce, and many others. Her experience-driven, thought-provoking articles have been featured in everything from Readers Digest to Business News Daily, and she strives to continually redefine standards for those in the private investigative and security fields. Learn more about Whitney and the team at The Smith Investigation Agency today.

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