Asked in Criminal Law for Florida

Q: in Fl if i gave info to a private detective before signing a confidential agreement can they do anything with it?

I gave too much info to the *private* detective and am worried that he will report some friends to the police because i mentioned potentially illegal activities they performed. I did not sign a confidentiality agreement and he wrote it all down on a notepad he was reluctant to get rid of the notepad with the info he wrote. Is it possible he is going to report my friends or something?

He tore it up and gave me the torn up documents but he kept some random scraps.

How badly did I screw up?

Related Topics:
4 Lawyer Answers
Terrence James O'Sullivan
Terrence James O'Sullivan
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Melbourne, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Honestly, anytime you talk to the police without a lawyer it’s a screw up. Sounds like they are doing some type of investigation whether it be you or friends. My advice is always do not talk to law enforcement without an attorney.

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard
Answered
  • Freeeport, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: As I understand the question, the detective was a PI, not an officer of the law.

I seriously doubt that asking the detective to sign a confidentiality agreement would have made any difference; unless the detective was paid to sign, there is probably no consideration, and any such agreement would have been invalid for lack of consideration.

Henry George Ferro
Henry George Ferro
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Ocala, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Is it possible that he takes the information you provided to police...Yes. There is not in your question any information that would give him a motivation to do so.

You made a horrible mistake...private investigator does not have any privilege that protects statements made by you.

That is one of the reasons that it is always good to hire a lawyer (who in turn hires an investigator)...

Jean Richardson
Jean Richardson
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • North Miami, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: There is zero confidentiality between you and that private detective because he does not work for you or an attorney that you hired. If you make statements against yourself, that is an admission. If you make statements against someone else, that is hearsay, with some potential exceptions. Regardless of your statements, if the private detective decides to provide them to the police, the police would have to open an investigation to gather incriminating evidence before an arrest can be made and or referring the case to the state for prosecution. It is somewhat complicated. Moral of the story, don't make potentially incriminating statements to cops and ask for an attorney.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.