[KHTS] – There is no such thing as a typical day in the life of a private investigator, according to longtime Santa Clarita Valley resident and PI Jonathan Kraut. Kraut, who currently works as a state-trained PI for Net Check Investigations, performs a variety of investigative tasks to uncover the truth about his cases, ranging from behavioral assessments and background checks to working with attorneys on criminal cases.
“My cases never end up the way they’re initially presented– there’s a lot more detail and a lot of things that are and aren’t true,” he said. “So on the first pass of the case, it’s never going to come out the way you think. I’m always surprised.”
During the day, Kraut generally spends his time running criminal records at the courthouse, meeting with attorneys about ongoing cases, serving individuals with subpoenas and taking witness statements.
“I’ve got a staff that handles the day-to-day so I’m free to do whatever my clients need me to do,” he said. “It could be fun… You never know what your clients need so I try to keep it open.”
Much of Kraut’s caseload involves working with attorneys on criminal defense and prosecution cases, as well as civil and family law.
“The attorneys for the families hire us to gather information for use in court,” he said. “That could range from taking pictures to following people, doing online searches, interviewing witnesses and taking statements.”
Kraut, who serves on the board of the Domestic Violence Center of the Santa Clarita Valley, is a state-trained domestic violence advocate who specializes in domestic violence cases.
“I’m used as a witness or an investigator to help identify who is the victim and who is the abuser,” he said. “For example, the people who complain the most often tend to be the abusers– not the victims. The people who pretend like it didn’t happen tend to be the victims, and they try to cover up what the abuser does. There’s a complex dynamic that usually requires expertise.”
Kraut’s focus on domestic violence cases span the past two decades and have involved work in both California and Arizona.
He recently released a second version of his book, “Ending the Abuse,” which was originally published in 2004, to incorporate the past ten years of experiences working with the SCV Domestic Violence Center shelter.
“It was (originally) written primarily for social workers, like a textbook,” he said. “I substantially rewrote it to include remedies to problems which I hadn’t really reported 10 years ago.”
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