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Can I Get My Private Investigators License with A DUI?

With so many rules and regulations that you're supposed to abide by in the UK, it's not that difficult to find yourself on the wrong side of the law at some point in your life. However, apart from the immediate trouble this causes, there's also the question of whether this can impact your future career opportunities.

Criminal records are among the most important things that a licensing body will look at when issuing a license to someone. The same applies to those applying for licenses in the field of private investigation. Although it's not a guarantee that having such a record will result in not getting a license, the record will have to be thoroughly scrutinized first.

Licensing Criteria For Private Investigators

Before looking at what could result in the Security Industry Authority turning down your application for an investigator's license, it's important to first know what is expected of you.

When applying for your private investigator license, the SIA will expect that the applicant:

  • Is able to legally work in the UK
  • Is at least 18 years of age
  • Has completed the required training i.e. possess an IQ Level 3 Award for Professional Investigators
  • Is an upstanding member of society
  • Has no serious mental health issues

Why Would The Sia Deny You A Private Investigator License?

Technically, not meeting any of the above criteria is reason enough for the SIA to deny an applicant a private investigator license. However, while most of the criteria are straightforward and easy to assess, it's much harder to tell if a person is an upstanding member of society.

Most of the time, a criminal record is what is used to check if a person is of good character. Having a record will not automatically mean that a person can't hold a license. There are criminal records which may be the result of youthful transgressions that are in the past and there are other records that came about due to a sequence of unfortunate events. Because of this, the SIA looks at each person's situation individually.

Some of the reasons why they may decide not to give you a license include:

  • Having a long history of criminal offences
  • Having a criminal record and still showing evidence of being tied to past criminal elements
  • Serving a sentence for a crime
  • Being convicted of crimes that are very serious or crimes that are very closely related to the investigative work you intend to do
  • Have a record that's still quite fresh

Quite often, a criminal record will have less bearing on the outcome of your license application after a number of years have passed. However, this may not be the case depending on the nature of the record in question.

Apart from good character, it's also not always easy to tell whether a person has a serious mental health issue that may impact their work. The SIA may look at whether the applicant has been forcefully detained for such conditions in the recent past. A DUI may seem harmless enough but in some circumstances, it may reveal that an applicant is either reckless or has a mental health problem that could impact their work negatively. For example, an applicant with multiple DUIs on record may be demonstrating a level of recklessness that could endanger lives or give the license a bad reputation.

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