Free Private Investigator Practice Test

1. Which of the following types of records are NOT made available to the public by the Freedom of Information Act?

a. FBI records
b. Records held by the United States Congress
c. Social Security Administration records
d. Military records

2. Which of the following would be the best question during an interrogation?

a. "You were at the bowling alley last night, weren't you?
b. "Were you at the bowling alley last light?"
c. "Why were you at the bowling alley last night?"
d. "You weren't at the bowling alley last night, were you?"

3. Which of the following is a focus of criminalistics?

a. Toxicology
b. Odontology
c. Pathology
d. Voice spectroscopy

4. An oral statement made outside of the courtroom and then introduced during trial is called a(n)...

a. Interrogatory.
b. Deposition.
c. Initial conference.
d. Request for production

5. In which direction do subjects typically look when they are recalling information?

a. Up
b. Down
c. Left
d. Right

Answers & Explanations

1. B: Records held by the United States Congress are not made available to the public by the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). However, FBI records, military and defense records, Social Security Administration records, and Veteran's Administration records are all available to the public through FOIA requests. The Freedom of Information Act was passed in 1966 so that public records could be accessible. The act declares that citizens have a right to this information, whereas in the past the public's access was limited to those documents containing information which a citizen might "need to know."

2. C: Of the given questions, the best for an interrogation would be "Why were you at the bowling alley last night?" The interrogator should avoid asking leading questions: that is, questions that suggest an answer. Answer choice A encourages the interviewee to answer "Yes," and answer choice D encourages the interviewee to answer "No." An interrogator should also avoid asking questions that elicit only a one-word answer. It is better to ask an open-ended question so that the interviewee will feel compelled to add some detail. The best interrogation questions are those that lead to more lines of inquiry.

3. D: Voice spectroscopy is a focus of criminalistics. Criminalistics is the use of scientific techniques for gathering and evaluating physical evidence. Voice spectroscopy is analysis of the wave characteristics of a voice sample. Some of the other disciplines in criminalistics are chemistry, photography, fingerprinting, lie detection, and document authorization. Toxicology, odontology, and pathology are all elements of forensic medicine, which is the other main branch of forensics. Forensic medicine is the application of medical techniques to criminal cases. Toxicology is the analysis of drugs and poisons. Odontology is the analysis of dental records and artifacts. Pathology is the study of diseases.

4. B: An oral statement made outside of the courtroom and then introduced during trial is called a deposition. Depositions are supervised by the attorneys in the trial, typically without any participation by the judge. An interrogatory, also known as a request for further information, is a set of questions asked by one party in a suit to the other. An interrogatory is intended to clarify factual matters. The initial conference is a meeting at which the two sides negotiate the discovery process. A request for production is a demand for specific documents related to an impending case.

5. A: A subject will typically look up when he or she is recalling information. Most people will look either to one side or the other when remembering or making up a response. The habitual response of a person will vary individually, so the interrogator should ask a few basic questions at the beginning of the session in order to get a handle on the subject's routine. Noticing the movements of the subject's eyes is a good way to assess his or her honesty, since these movements are involuntary. Indeed, most people are not even aware that the recall of information usually stimulates looking up.


Last Updated: 03/01/2017

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