Private Investigators – What You Should Know


If you are in the market for a private investigator for the first time you may be wondering how they work, and what is involved in the process of hiring them. This article will answer some of the commonly asked questions about private investigators.

What can a private investigator do?

A private investigator is hired when you need to find evidence in a personal matter. You can hire them to do background checks, look into family mattes, check into bad employee behavior or even track down a missing person.

Where can I find a private investigator?

The best private investigators are those near you, so to find one you can search online – make sure that you include your zip code or the name of where you live. You may get several search results from your search. You can refine them by looking into the kinds of cases that the investigators handle and their success rate, as well as how much they charge. You can also look in the Yellow Pages for the name of a private investigator, or you can ask someone who has used one before.

How much will a private investigator charge me?

It depends on their fee structure and the kind of case that you are hiring them to do. If, for example, all you need them to do is background checks they may choose to charge you a flat fee for each check that they conduct. If, however, you are hiring them to track down a missing person or follow a spouse or an employee they will most likely charge you by the hour. If they have to travel to find out information you will have to pay for travel expenses including accommodation.

Do I have privilege with a private investigator?

No you do not – they are not lawyers so they can share anything that they learn about you or the case that you have assigned them. However, for the sake of their reputations many private investigators will not go around handing over information about their clients. They can, however, be compelled by the court to provide tell what they know.

Are there things that a private investigator cannot do?

Yes, there are certain things that a private investigator is not allowed to do by law. They cannot introduce themselves as law enforcement officers and they cannot collect information illegally. They are not allowed to break and enter into a residence or a commercial building to gather evidence and they cannot tap phones. If they break the law in the course of their investigations they are liable to prosecution like ordinary citizens.

Is there anything I should do before you hire a private investigator?

Not really; if you find an experienced one who says they can help you with your case you can go ahead and hire them. You should check whether they are licensed and get their licensing credentials just in case you have to report them to the licensing board.