As professional investigators, we have certain legal, ethical, and moral obligations.
The problem is: not everybody agrees on what those are.
For apprentice investigators and veterans alike, our legal obligations lie at the foundation of everything we do. But ethical and moral professional behavior reside in murkier areas, with very unclear boundaries. There’s a lot to consider when formulating one’s ethical and moral code, including the following:
- Legal is not ethical, ethical is not moral, and moral is highly personal;
- Legal is federal, state, and local statute and/or policy;
- Ethics are sometimes governed by professional associations and/or certification bodies;
- Morals can prevent you from accepting a case, but should not interfere with an accepted case.