Ethics are professional standards that investigators must follow, particularly if retained by an attorney as their agent. A violation of ethics can harmful to a case or relationship, even professional licensure can be disciplined for a violation. For these reasons, it is important that all parties to the relationship are made aware of these ethics and are guided by them.
Our agency has operated for over 25 years in Colorado, an unlicensed state until 2012 (voluntary, as was our agency) and mandatory in 2015. During this time it was greatly misunderstood that ethics applied to investigators – even a District Court judge ruled that without licensure there are no private investigator ethics in Colorado. This refutes that ruling and informs the student – from consumer to attorney, and interested to veteran private investigator – that there are ethics that must be followed and apply to both investigator/consumer and investigator/attorney relationships. Ethics serve both professional and consumer protection. Only facts obtained ethically can be evidence – facts without ethics is not evidence.