Professional Ethical Standards Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 19 February 2017

Professional Ethical Standards

This paper intends to look into the professional code of ethics of investigators, a career which I am most likely to pursue later.

A Career in Criminal Justice that Interests Me

            I am most likely to become a criminal investigator. This is probably the career in criminal justice that I am most likely to pursue as it interests me greatly.

Job Description for the Position

            An investigator seeks information, analyzes it, and provides it to authorities like lawyers, for instance (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2008, n.p.). He or she looks for clues that may help “uncover facts, about legal, criminal, financial, or personal matters” (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2008, n.p.). An investigator has so many services to offer including: “executive, corporate, and celebrity protection; pre-employment verification; and individual background profiles” (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2008, n.p.).

He or she may also cover the following: “computer crimes, such as identity theft, harassing e-mails, and illegal downloading of copyrighted material” (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2008, n.p.).  In addition to that, they also provide the following: “assistance in criminal and civil liability cases, insurance claims and fraud, child custody and protection cases, missing persons’ cases, and premarital screening” (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2008, n.p.). Plus, they also willingly help out in cases wherein infidelity should be established (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2008, n.p.).

            An investigator works around in computers much as their work involves “recovery of deleted emails; recovery of deleted documents; getting evidences that will prove prior “arrests/convictions, civil legal judgments, telephone numbers, motor vehicle registrations, association/club memberships, as well as, photographs” (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2008, n.p.).

            Part of their work is to go on surveillance or search, for instance, they research on how much an individual is making or where he or she works by calling or visiting the workplace of the individual; they also pretend to be somebody else just to carry this out (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2008, n.p.). He or she may also install “photographic and video cameras, binoculars, and “bugs” on phones, and others that investigators often use for surveillance purposes to gather information on an individual” (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2008, n.p.).

            Meanwhile, the duties and responsibilities of an investigator is dependent upon the “needs of the clients”, if for instance, he or she is investigating a case on fraud, then he or she will stick to this for as long as the client wants or until the case is considered closed  (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2008, n.p.).

            Furthermore, investigators have certain specializations and some of these are the following: “1) intellectual property theft, wherein their task is to investigate and document acts of piracy, help clients stop illegal activity, and provide intelligence for prosecution and civil action; 2) others specialize in developing financial profiles and asset searches wherein their reports reflect information gathered through interviews, investigation and surveillance, and research, including review of public documents;

3) others are known as “Computer forensic investigators” who specialize in recovering, analyzing, and presenting data from computers for use in investigations or as evidence and they determine the details of intrusions into computer systems, recover data from encrypted or erased files, and recover e-mails and deleted passwords; and 4) legal investigators who assist in the preparation of criminal defenses, locating of witnesses serving of legal documents, interviewing police and prospective witnesses, and gathering and reviewing evidence and they may also may collect information on the parties to the litigation, take photographs, testify in court, and assemble evidence and reports for trials” (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2008, n.p.).

Professional Code of Ethics

            The professional code of ethics of investigators entails the following:

            First of all, they are obliged to seek the truth (South Carolina Association of Legal Investigators, n.d., n.p.).

            Second, they are supposed to be fair and just at all times (South Carolina Association of Legal Investigators, n.d., n.p.).

            Third, they are supposed to treat others nicely (South Carolina Association of Legal Investigators, n.d., n.p.).

            Fourth, they are not supposed to use their power in a manner that is abusive (South Carolina Association of Legal Investigators, n.d., n.p.). Even if they are authorized to investigate on a certain case or issue, they are still obliged to “follow the Federal, State, and Local laws” (South Carolina Association of Legal Investigators, n.d., n.p.).

            Fifth, they are also obliged to “know how to collect evidence properly so that they do not compromise its admissibility in court” (South Carolina Association of Legal Investigators, n.d., n.p.).

            Sixth, they should be generous enough to cooperate with other investigators and other professionals especially in the “exchange of information and experience so long as the interest of his client are not compromised” (South Carolina Association of Legal Investigators, n.d., n.p.).

            Seventh, they are not allowed to flaunt their works and skills in an unethical way which may “injure/lessen the dignity and honor of his profession” (South Carolina Association of Legal Investigators, n.d., n.p.).

            Eighth, they are obliged to inform the public (if necessary) how they may play a role in serving justice (South Carolina Association of Legal Investigators, n.d., n.p.).

            Ninth, they may be allowed to express their own opinion but only based on the facts that they have gathered (South Carolina Association of Legal Investigators, n.d., n.p.).

            Tenth, they may not “disclose, relate or betray, in any fashion, the trust or confidence placed in them by clients, employers, or associates without consent” (South Carolina Association of Legal Investigators, n.d., n.p.).

            Eleventh, they may not advocate, recommend, overlook or partake, in any fashion or degree, for any purpose whatsoever, in setting up another individual (South Carolina Association of Legal Investigators, n.d., n.p.).

            Twelfth, they cannot accept a certain case/assignment “if a personal conflict of interest lies therein” (South Carolina Association of Legal Investigators, n.d., n.p.).

            Thirteenth, they are obliged to inform their client what they are going to do exactly to solve the case/assignment and will tell the client what their charges/payments are for in a detailed manner (South Carolina Association of Legal Investigators, n.d., n.p.).

            Fourteenth, they shall refrain from using techniques or methods that may endanger the lives of other people (South Carolina Association of Legal Investigators, n.d., n.p.).

            Fifteenth, they are prohibited to let their personal emotions and judgments meddle with “factual and truthful disclosures” on the assignments (South Carolina Association of Legal Investigators, n.d., n.p.).

            Sixteenth, they are not allowed to “directly or indirectly injure the professional reputation, prospects or practice of another investigator” (South Carolina Association of Legal Investigators, n.d., n.p.).

            Seventeenth, he or she is obliged to report an investigator who is “guilty of unethical, illegal or unfair practices or designs and he or she will present this information to the proper authority for action” (South Carolina Association of Legal Investigators, n.d., n.p.).

            Last but not least, they are prohibited to “criticize another investigators work except in the proper forum for technical discussion and critique” (South Carolina Association of Legal Investigators, n.d., n.p.).

Unique Ethical Standards for the Profession

            There are several unique ethical standards for the aforementioned profession and these are the following:

  • They cannot accept a certain case/assignment “if a personal conflict of interest lies therein” (South Carolina Association of Legal Investigators, n.d., n.p.).
  • They are supposed to be fair and just at all times (South Carolina Association of Legal Investigators, n.d., n.p.).
  • They are supposed to treat others nicely (South Carolina Association of Legal Investigators, n.d., n.p.).

Two Examples of Potential Ethical Dilemmas Specific to this Profession and the Code of Ethics that it Meant to Discourage

            If for instance, an investigator is requested to investigate a woman who is thought to be cheating his husband and the woman happened to be a former girlfriend of the investigator who was cheated upon before may pursue the case not for the sake of proving or disproving infidelity but the investigator may just pursue it for the sake of vindication and vengeance. Since there is a conflict of interest, the case may only be jeopardized.

            Another example that may pose as a potential ethical dilemma that’s specific to this profession is this: if an investigator happens to meet a person who may play a large role in the closure of a certain case he is working on and the person does not want to cooperate fully, then the investigator may be obliged to treat the individual unfairly, for instance, he may harass the person just so the individual will help him with his case.

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2008). Private Detectives and Investigators.

 

Retrieved April 6, 2008 from

http://www.bls.gov/oco/content/ocos157.stm

South Carolina Association of Legal Investigators. (n.d.). Code of Ethics.

 

Retrieved April 6, 2008 from

http://www.scalinv.com/ethics.htm

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  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 19 February 2017

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