Private investigators are the ones who investigate the crimes. They are usually hired by innocent citizens who want to prove that their loved ones are not guilty or by criminals who want to find out if someone is trying to investigate them.
They can also be employed by lawyers working for both sides if they have any doubts about evidence collected against or in favor of their clients. For a long time, private investigator services have been popular among celebrities and various public figures as it allows them to keep their life confidential.
Private investigator jobs involve surveillance, research for incriminating evidence, locating missing persons, etc. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most private investigators explore facts by traveling around using search methods such as interviews and research at libraries and courthouses. They also go through public records, collect evidence from informants, and check alibis.
In general, a private investigator is an individual hired by a client to gather information about a person or business for use in civil litigation. A PI cannot give legal advice nor process paperwork such as traffic citations or divorce papers. The state regulates the profession, and each PI must be licensed to work in their respective state.
Most employment opportunities for private investigators are available through businesses that specialize in PIs. Many of these companies list jobs with major job boards, such as Indeed and Monster. However, there are many opportunities to find a position with small and even one-person private investigation companies.
Many states allow private investigators to carry firearms as long as they meet the state's requirements. Some of which include registration as a security guard (in hourly paid positions) and paperwork that verifies that you are an employee or subcontractor of a licensed PI firm, such as Fidelity Investigative Services, LLC. Additionally, some states have training requirements for firearms that private investigators must meet.
What are private investigator firms? These firms are like detective agencies, and most of them work on a case-by-case basis. This means that they sign up with an agency that provides them with their client's name, then they collect the requested information and hand it over to their employer.
Most private investigation companies require some college education in criminal justice or another related field. There are three types of jobs in a private investigation - process servers, surveillance specialists, and general investigators. As the name implies, a process server serves legal documents to parties involved in a court case.
Surveillance specialists work at observing and following people or places to gather evidence. They may use binoculars, telephoto lenses, and recording devices. It is also not unusual for them to bring weapons with them just in case things go south.
Last but not least, a general investigator covers the duties of all three positions. Their primary role is to investigate an individual or business to discover their strengths and weaknesses. They also collect evidence that might be used later in court cases.
You should be looking for several qualities when it comes to private investigator firms. The first and foremost requirement is ethics. A private ethical investigator sticks to the law while conducting his investigation and does not break any rules or regulations in pursuing information. At times, this requirement can strain the private investigator because they may feel tempted to break the rules to get the job done.
Another essential trait is discretion. This means that a private investigator should not hire out their work without informing their client unless they agree to do so beforehand. They also cannot disclose information about their clients or previous cases. According to Careerbuilder, most employers will require you to sign a statement that you agree to never reveal any personal information about your clients without their authorization.
You should also look for honesty and fairness when hiring a PI firm to work on your case, as every PI should offer these qualities regardless of their other skills. Finally, you need to find a company with an excellent reputation. This can be done by asking your friends, family, and co-workers for recommendations.
These are the most important things you should consider when looking for private investigator firms. If you have found one that matches your criteria, congratulations - you are on your way to finding out more about yourself or others.
Of course, a private investigator's job is not only limited to some background check or simply tailing someone. If you work with a private investigator firm, you can also see that they offer broader types of services such as:
- Legal and financial investigations (evidence that might be used in court or involves financial transactions).
- Social security number search.
Workers compensation fraud investigation is when a business owner illegally tries to obtain payments from the social security administration. In most cases, this happens because they have been injured on the job, but they are not injured, or vice versa.
- Insurance fraud (when someone files an insurance claim using false information).
- Sex offender search (information about sex offenders in the area).
- Workers compensation fraud investigation (when a business owner tries to obtain payments from the social security administration illegally)
If you are interested in how much it costs to hire a private investigator, you should know that this depends on the type of investigation and how long it will last. Do not expect a private investigator to give you the answers you want after only paying them a few hundred dollars. On the other hand, if you want results, be prepared to pay more than $1,000 per investigation.
Investigations can last from a single day to several months or even years in some cases. The average cost is usually around $2,500 and is lower if the investigation does not require surveillance equipment usage.
Whether you need to investigate a cheating spouse, track down a long-lost relative or friend, or want some peace of mind about what’s going on in your life, hiring a professional private investigator is the way to go. But with so many firms out there, how do you choose the right one for your needs?
Good thing you have us here at Whitesell Investigative Services. We’re the top private investigator firm in the area, with years of experience uncovering valuable information that other investigators would miss. Remember, you need to hire a private investigator because it can take time, resources, and specific expertise to get the information you want about your current situation. That’s exactly what you get with our team of professionals at Whitesell Investigative Services, so call us today!