shirt with lipstickFor a decade, I co-owned a private detective agency. Can’t tell you how many times this question was asked by wives, husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends…people who suspected that their spouse or significant other was fooling around.

Do You Want to Be a Felon?

This was my typical response. Because unless the person’s name is registered on the suspected philanderer’s vehicle (and it’s surprising how many spouses think their names are, but they aren’t), we’re talking felony if the person is caught. And trust me, people get caught.

A PI Who Ended Up in Jail

I once met a private investigator who learned a very costly lesson. He knew his client’s name was not on the spouse’s vehicle registration, but he attached the GPS anyway. A woman in an adjacent parking lot had seen him crawl underneath a car with an object, then reappear empty-handed. She immediately called the police and said, “I think a guy just attached a bomb to a car.”

Bomb Technician Vehicle (courtesy FBI)

Bomb Technician Vehicle (courtesy FBI)

Next thing the PI knew, police, fire trucks and bomb squads arrived, and he was in handcuffs. Nearby schools, homes and businesses were evacuated. News stations picked up on the story and widely reported the bomb threat. It took him nearly two years and $8,000 in legal fees to salvage his investigations business, and through the hard work of his lawyer the PI ended up with a variety of misdemeanors, but no felony.

That was his single stroke of luck in the entire debacle.

Try Communicating

Whenever someone calls my office, angry and hurt over the possibility of their spouse/loved one cheating, asking if they should invest in a GPS device or hire a PI who will do it for them, I ask them to try communicating with their partner instead. Pick a convenient time when the two of them have privacy, and keep the conversation calm and fair. State concerns over possible infidelity, and listen without over-reacting.

I also suggest marriage/relationship counseling. That’s a heck of a lot cheaper, with the potential for renewed growth and happiness in the relationship, versus a divorce.

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Managing Partner at Shaun Kaufman Law
Shaun Kaufman has 30 years of in-court experience, with hundreds of hours spent defending numerous high-profile cases including homicide, white-collar theft and RICO offenses. Specialties: Criminal defense, personal injury, business litigation, DUI.

Shaun Kaufman Law: 303-309-0430
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