Frequently Asked Questions 

What is a private investigator and what can they do in North Carolina?

Pursuant the North Carolina law (NCGS § 74C-30), a “Private detective” or “private investigator” is a person who accepts employment to furnish, agrees to make, or makes inquiries or investigations concerning any of the following on a contractual basis:
  1. Crimes or wrongs done or threatened against the United States or any state or territory of the United States.
  2. The identity, habits, conduct, business, occupation, honesty, integrity, credibility, knowledge, trustworthiness, efficiency, loyalty, activity, movement, whereabouts, affiliations, associations, transactions, acts, reputation, or character of any person.
  3. The location, disposition, or recovery of lost or stolen property.
  4. The cause or responsibility for fires, libels, losses, accidents, damages, or injuries to persons or to properties.
  5. Securing evidence to be used before any court, board, officer, or investigative committee.
  6. Protection of individuals from serious bodily harm or death.

Who hires a private investigator?

In short, private investigators are used if you need access to information that an average individual cannot obtain. “We’re problem solvers,” said our founder in a recent forum on the role of private investigators.

Some common examples of clients and use cases are:

  • Businesses looking for someone to investigate for illegal activity, such as embezzlement or theft of corporate secrets, or even investigating fictitious workman's compensation claims.

  • Companies requiring investigations of workplace harassment, retaliation, and sexual harassment.

  • Background checks of job candidates or potential renters by the leasing office or landlord.  

  • Those involved in child custody cases or other family law situations.  

  • A victim of an accident or an insurance adjuster looking to determine the cause of the accident.

  • Families looking for answers in suspected incidents of elder abuse.


Why would I hire a private investigator?

In addition to their experience and expertise, evidence collected by a private investigator is much more likely to be admissible in the case than evidence collected by an individual involved with a case. This is attributed to the fact that the evidence has been gathered by someone knowledgeable concerning the rules of evidence.

NewLight investigators are unbiased and not emotionally, financially or personally attached to the case. This is our job, and we are objective.


Will anyone know I have hired a private investigator?

If you hire an investigator through NewLight, then no, they will not. While our services are 100% confidential, if an investigator is subpoenaed by a court of law, he or she is legally bound to appear and testify.  We take your privacy very seriously; no one other than you, your investigator, and our leadership team at NewLight will know you have hired a private investigator.  We keep our relationship confidential. NewLight strongly recommends to our clients (and to anyone that hires a PI) that they don’t tell anyone that they have hired a private investigator until the investigation is complete.


What types of things are professional private investigators NOT allowed to do?

Although PIs have access to information the general public cannot obtain, they must obey the same basic laws as ordinary citizens. Three big things they cannot do:

  • Pose as law enforcement officers

  • Wire tapping

  • Obtain cell phone records via pretext


Can investigators testify in court?

Yes, our investigators can testify in court for you; however, there are costs involved and that preference must be made known to us.


Do private investigators have to identify themselves?

Private investigators do not have to identify themselves, although some case it may be beneficial to do so when it will help gather evidence and information. If an investigator is approached, more than likely they will deny everything, having a cover story at the ready.  In some circumstances, NewLight Investigations will notify the local law enforcement agency that they are in the area if they feel it is necessary. They do not and will not provide specific target information.