Can private investigators get cell phone records?
If you’re curious about whether you’re the subject of a cell phone investigation, it’s likely that someone is keeping tabs on your phone. However, there are a few ways that people may become interested in your cellphone usage without having to go through the trouble of hiring a private investigator.
One is if law enforcement requests records from your carrier as part of an ongoing investigation. The police can request the records by subpoena, which often requires a judge’s order.
Another possibility is if you’re involved in a court dispute with someone and an attorney requests your phone records as part of the evidence in your case. Here, too, the attorney would likely need to obtain a judge’s authorization for the subpoena.
And then there are times when your phone company may simply want to monitor your activity and alert you if they notice anything suspicious. In those cases, they may ask for permission to access your records.
If you’re the subject of an investigation, however, a detective may subpoena your records. That means they’ll either need to get a signed, written authorization for your cellphone company from a judge or directly from you.
When they turn in their request to the phone carrier and you’re named as the subject of an investigation, there are some ways you may be notified. The phone company will send you a “subpoena notification,” which will tell you that someone is requesting your records and let you know how long it will take for them to appear. You’ll then receive regular updates until the records arrive at your detective’s office.
But how can a private investigator get cell phone records?
Well, other than the methods mentioned above, private investigators have unique ways of gather data such as cell phone records. Some of these ways include:
- Computer forensics – if the private investigator has access to the cell phone a forensic analysis can be conducted on the phone to retrieve calling records, text messages, pictures, and web surfing data. Even if this information has been deleted the private investigator has the forensic tools to undelete them and gather them as evidence. This method is superior to a subpoena since the actual content of text messages can be retrieved.
- Subpoena power – private investigators assist attorneys regularly with compiling subpoenas for cell phone records. When the data being sought is text message data, the phone company will not provide the content of the text messages, even under subpoena.
- Friends and Family – when a private investigator interviews friends and family it’s not unusual for them to ask whether they’ve been in contact with the subject of the investigation. If this contact includes a cell phone, then the private investigator may ask to see this communication. If they person agrees, the private investigator now has more access to more evidence to build their case.
If you are looking for an affordable licensed private investigator, with 20 years of experience assisting individuals, attorneys and corporations feel free to contact us here. You can also view a portion of our extensive client list here, and see what actual clients say about Eagle Investigative Services a private investigator in Atlanta, Georgia.