Friday, May 25, 2012

How to Get a PI

eHow's Missy Jess tells us how to get a private investigator:

Individuals and companies hire private investigators for many reasons: for child custody cases, to catch insurance fraud, to locate a missing person, to perform a thorough employment background check or to catch a cheating spouse. Once hired, the private investigator uses various methods, such as taking video surveillance and interviewing your subject's associates, to gather information for your case. The information gathered by a private investigator can be used for your own personal curiosity or to build a court case in your favor.
  1. Find a private investigator in your area by searching online or looking through a phone book. If you have a lawyer, ask her if she has any recommendations.
  2. Ask if the investigator is licensed and insured. Most states require private investigators to hold a license in order to run their practice. In order to obtain a license, the private investigator typically must be insured, bonded and pass a background check, but the actual requirements vary by state.
  3. Inquire about the investigator's educational background and work history. Many private investigators are former or retired law enforcement officers, lawyers or insurance agents. Their expertise can help with your investigation if it aligns with your case's purpose.
  4. Discuss your case with the private investigator. During this consultation, the private investigator will tell you his fees and his initial plans on executing the investigation. This could involve conducting surveillance, searching databases and taking video. You also may be asked to share details on your subject: his work schedule, frequently visited places, information on his associates and other details.
  5. Get a contract and read it over in detail. The contract should explain the scope of all services you'll receive and how often the investigator updates you on your case's progress.
  6. Sign the contract to authorize the services to begin the investigation.

Tips & Warnings
  • A private investigator does not have the same authority as a law enforcement officer. Therefore, he cannot obtain search warrants or make arrests. Make sure your private investigator is working within your local laws.
  • Understand your investigation may not go the way you expected. If the private investigator performs surveillance on your subject and he turns up nothing, you'll still be expected to pay for his services.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Pros and Cons of Using a PI

Think your spouse is cheating? The pros and cons of utilizing a private investigator, courtesy of Truth About Deception:

What are the benefits of hiring a Private Investigator?
Private investigators are licensed by the state to gather information and engage in surveillance. Private investigators understand what is permitted under state law. If the potential for legal proceedings exists (e.g., divorce, child custody, alimony, etc.), hiring a private investigator can help minimize your risk. Many people have obtained useful information about a spouse on their own, but were unable to use the information because of how it was obtained. Not only does hiring a private investigator help minimize the risk of information being thrown out during legal procedures, but in most cases PIs are allowed to testify on your behalf. And if negative information about your spouse is going to come out, it is usually beneficial to have a third party present the information - it will seem less biased and more credible.

Private Investigators are also better at collecting information because of their training, experience, and their lack of emotional involvement. Many people who try to catch a cheating spouse on their own, have a difficult time knowing what to look for or they become too upset while the process unfolds. We have heard from many people who have wasted months of their time trying to figure out if their spouse is cheating, but were unable to do so because they lack the investigative skills and tools which are needed. And people also tend to become too emotionally volatile when investigating their own spouse. People have a difficult time NOT confronting their spouse before they discover the full extent of the betrayal that occurred. Professional investigators simply have the added advantage of knowing how to investigate a spouse in a more objective manner.

What are the disadvantages of hiring a Private Investigator?
A major consideration when hiring a PI is the cost involved. Depending on where you live, hiring a PI can easily run into the thousands of dollars. And while there are always less expensive options available, given potential consequences involved, the additional expense may be worth every penny.