A private investigator is an investigating officer who is not a member of the police force but licensed to do detective work such as investigation of suspected wrongdoing or searching for missing persons.
Here are top things you need to know before hiring a private investigator:
- Whether an officer is a licensed private investigator or not? If an officer is a licensed investigator, then ask him for his license and note down the number. In case, you want to verify his license number, you can verify the details in an online database provided by the State or Country to which the license was applied for.
- Whether a private investigator is insured or not? In case if things went worse ask an officer do, they have some kind of Insurance liability and how much they are insured for.
- Experience as a private investigator: Before hiring a private investigator know his experience or his working as a private investigator.
- Know about his background, experience, and areas of specialization: As soon as you know about an officer’s experience as a private investigator, it’s also important to know about their background and experience that relates to your case or situation.
You may also ask him about:
- Is the officer’s expertise in cases like yours?
- Whether they’ve dealt with similar investigations before?
- What are the plans relating to your situation?
- Lastly, what services can they offer you?
- Location of his office: It is essential to know the location of the investigator’s office so that you can visit there in need. In case, if an officer is working from home and not willing to provide that personal information in order to protect themselves or their family so don’t hold off by that.
- Do they provide 24/7 service? Generally, an investigating officer requires the flexibility of working at all hours. Keep a check on investigating officers if they are providing services from 9 to 5 as cheating spouse or criminals don’t just carry on their misconduct from 9 to 5.
- Is the officer providing work references? Request a private investigator for references of two or three people or companies who provide services. They can be an Advocate, business owner, or another private investigator.
- Whether the case be treated confidential and how they can ensure that? Ask an investigation officer to keep the case confidential and also ask as to how they can ensure the same? However, there are exceptional cases when an officer cannot ensure confidentiality if the investigator is bound by law to reveal details of your case such as a judge or court instruction.
- Officer provides detailed report: An investigating officer will provide a final detailed written report at the end of the case as well as Photographic evidence along with the report.
When To Hire A Private Investigator?
- Surveillance: You can hire a private investigator to do lookouts such as in-person observation, detectives that can also monitor with technical equipment, online capabilities, and intense interviewing to gather information for you or your company.
- Security information: Private investigators have the ability to anticipate scenarios, soften situations and also ensures personal safety. Moreover, they also had undergone highly specialized training and professionalism.
- Forensic Accounting: You can also hire a private investigator that can keep strong vigilance on bookkeeping, digital records, documentation and can get answers by using the latest methodology.
- Due Diligence: A private investigator can undertake the work of due diligence as they can handle it very easily. Moreover, companies rely on private investigators as they have a very vast knowledge of corporate due diligence.
- Forensic Document Scrutiny: An investigator can determine authenticity and accuracy to aid in civil and criminal matters just by evaluating any paper trail. Moreover, they can also make difference in many cases by handwriting verification to imprinted documents or verified evidence.
- Corporate Compliance: By hiring a private investigator, a company can learn more information to ensure all appropriate protocols are taken.
- Child Custody: In order to ensure a child’s safety a private investigator must be hired so that their best interest is protected. In this case, an investigator is important because parents become secretive, irrational when they are unable to reach an amicable solution to child custody.
How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Private Investigator?
Hourly rates: Rates depend on your geographic location and investigator to investigator. However, rates fall between $40 – $120 per hour. Moreover, if you hire an investigator for a long term or a large number of hours, they can reduce their price. Make sure they offer this type of reduced rate if you hire an investigator.
Retainers: It is just a down payment for an investigator’s work. This also varies as per your needs and the investigator’s policy like a minimum of $1000 to a maximum of $5000. However, some investigators will charge against your retainer and refund anything that they don’t use while others will charge you a retainer and keep the full amount whether or not they use all of it.
Mistakes To Avoid When Hiring A Private Investigator?
- Illegal or unlicensed private investigator: An illegal or unlicensed investigator may destroy your investigations and can get you in trouble which is not something you want.
- Refund guarantee neglected: Many inexperienced private investigators have no confidence in their investigation abilities.
- When you overlook the previous cases of a private investigator.
- Explore budget-friendly investigators.
At Last: How To Become A Private Investigator?
- Firstly, acquire a high school diploma or equivalent.
- Peruse an associate or bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or a related field.
- Take into account for obtaining work experience that will help you to gain more knowledge in the military or as a police officer.
- Acquire a license by passing the examination as per your state guidelines.
- You need to meet other minimum requirements such as:
- Obtain at least 18 years of age.
- Must be U.S. Citizen or legal resident.
- Not registered in any state as a sex offender
- Not been convicted of a felony-level offense.
- Has not been dishonorably discharged from U.S. armed service.
Do let us know if we skipped any points to consider while hiring a private investigator.