Guidance when hiring a private investigator

Understanding the private investigations industry

Investigators depend on income from clients to make a living. Because of this, some investigators make promises they cannot fulfill just to get you to sign the contract. You will not receive quality work product from these types of investigators. Avoid investigators who use pushy sales tactics to secure your business. Verify the contract contains clear pricing information prior to signing. As a side note, if a private investigator insists you sign immediately, find another private investigator. Ideally, you want one who will recommend you wait a minimum of twenty-four hours before allowing you to sign.

Not all investigators have the training and experience necessary to handle your case. For example, if you are looking for a criminal defense investigator, you should not hire a private investigator who specializes only in child custody. Ask the private investigator to explain their experience working investigations related to your needs. Ask for references from previous clients (note: this will require time for the investigator to obtain approval from the previous clients due to confidentiality agreements). You can also ask for the names of attorneys with whom the investigator has worked.

While having a college degree does not necessarily correlate with the quality of the investigator’s work product, it does demonstrate the investigator is capable of thinking critically, analyzing data, managing deadlines, etc. Ask to see a copy of the investigator’s college degree and verify its validity with the university.

Does the investigator speak unprofessionally or discuss inappropriate topics unrelated to your case? This is the person you are hiring to speak with others on your behalf. You want someone who will make a good impression. Speak at length with the private investigator to get an understanding of how this person communicates with others. Your private investigator may testify in court on your behalf. Ask the investigator about their experience with courtroom testimony.

Learn about the investigator’s community involvement. Ideally, you will hire someone with a history of volunteering and helping others. Ask for a list of current and prior volunteer roles as well as references from well-known members of the community.

Schedule a consultation with a licensed private investigator to learn how we can help.

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