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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27070
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Is it illegal to conduct an investigation if you feel someone

Customer Question

- Is it illegal to conduct an investigation if you feel someone you know is suspected of breaking international laws in New York State.
- Someone I know forged my signature on a legal document before getting my approval. I agreed to the signing after learning through someone else that it had happened. Is that illegal? (Jurisdiction: New York State)
- Is thinking about hurting someone without engineering a plan to do so illegal? (Jurisdiction: New York State)
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 years ago.
My name is ***** ***** I am an experienced New York State criminal lawyer.
What do you mean by "is it illegal to conduct an investigation?" What sort of an investigation do you have in mind?
What do you mean by "agreed to the signing?" Agreed with whom?
What do you mean by "thinking about hurting someone?" Are you talking about physically injuring someone? That would be illegal, with or without a "plan."
You're going to have to be less vague or define your terms in order to get an answer.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
- I'm not conducting an investigation (especially without the assistance of an authorized professional). However, if it 'appears' that I am, is that criminal?
- I've made no formal agreement to the signing. However, I made sure that my agreement could be implied. Would that be considered obstruction of justice?
- And I have not intention of hurting anyone.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 years ago.
Unfortunately, I am no closer to knowing what you're talking about than I was when I replied the last time.
In general, getting someone investigated professionally is not illegal. That's why detective agencies exist. Some kinds of prying and self-help can amount to stalking, and some types of data collection which may be useful to know in an investigation may be illegal.
If someone signed your name to documents with your permission and authority, that would not be a forgery. But you cannot have it both ways. That is, just as an example, if a friend signed your name to get a loan and then defaulted on the loan, you would either have to pay off the loan or report the signature as unauthorized and let the complainant go after your friend.