A private investigator — also known as a PI, Private Detective or Private Eye — is someone that is hired to undertake an investigation. Most states require PIs to be trained and licensed. Investigators often have a law enforcement and/or a military background.
Law firms, corporations, insurance companies, private parties and entities not involved with the government or police all have reasons to procure the services of a private investigator.
In the majority of cases, private investigators will charge an hourly rate. Hourly rates can vary. Nearly all investigators will ask for a retainer fee before taking a case. It is unlikely you will find an investigator willing to do just one or two hours of investigative work.
Detective is a term typically used to refer to police work, popularized by old Hollywood films and serial novels.
Investigators is the term more commonly used in the private sector.
When hiring a PI, make sure the PI is licensed, and that license is in good standing. Make sure all evidence obtained by the investigator is gathered in a manner such that it is fully-admissible in a court of law, and that the investigator has experience testifying in front of a jury. Finally, make sure the investigator clearly spells out a specific investigative plan, how long it’s going to take, and how much it’s going to cost.
- Operate without proper licensing
- Impersonate a police officer or break the law
- Participate in unethical practices
- Trespass on private property or film through private windows
- Tamper with mail, wiretap, or record private conversations
- Hack accounts or obtain phone/social media account information without a warrant
- Place GPS trackers without consent (jurisdiction specific)
No. Due to the nature of complex investigations, any number of factors can prevent you from obtaining your desired outcome. Likewise, the results of the investigation may yield something previously unknown or unexpected. However, we do work diligently to find the truth and report it accurately at the conclusion of the investigation.
Nearly all states have a licensing requirement to conduct private investigation for a fee. While you may act on your own behalf and in your own interest, you or another person can not conduct unlicensed activity in the State of Nevada for someone else
The field of private investigation is very broad. However, the most common areas include domestic cases, corporate investigations, background checks, litigation support, missing persons, and skip traces to name a few.