How To Choose The Right Private Investigator

The use of private investigators can be a very helpful asset. If you’re considering utilizing the services of a PI you will want to make sure that the investigation is conducted in a professional manner and does not violate any moral, ethical and most of all legal standards, especially if you’re looking to use the data gathered through this investigation in a court of law.

Criminal Investigation

Jan 12

How To Choose The Right Private Investigator


When choosing the firm and individuals to employ to work on your case you need to ensure that you’re dealing with licensed professionals who will handle your case with care and conduct their sleuthing within the confines of the law. In order to do this, you must gather crucial information before hiring them.

1. Their licensing status and license number

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Not everyone can become a private investigator. Many may claim to be PIs, however if you’re looking for a legitimate detective, it is of paramount importance that you make sure the person you’re hiring has gone through the training and testing required by your state to become a licensed professional. Additionally, the strict requirements in order to get a license must be maintained constantly in order for the keep the license current.

Even those who have not undergone the training know how important this aspect is, so they may claim to be licensed even though they’re not. This is why it’s important that you do not only ask if they’re licensed, but rather go a step further and ask for their license number which you can then use to verify their credentials. This will help you make sure that you’re dealing with a firm or individual that has passed a mandatory background check and has consistently help up the standards of operation required by your state. In short, you can rest assured that you’re dealing with true professionals who will not compromise your case legally or ethically.

2. Their background

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In order to ensure the success of the investigation as well as increase your own level of comfort with the PI you hire, it is essential that you gather as much information about them as possible. Learning their background prior to becoming a private investigator will help you do just that. Not only will it allow you to hire the person whose previous history will benefit your case as you’ll be able to choose a detective whose skills match what you’re looking for, you will also be able to get an idea of their level of experience in the field.

Many private investigators used to be police officers or worked in the FBI or other government agencies, however by getting the details you will make sure that the individual you’re dealing with wasn’t fired from their previous duties due to negligence, mishandling of cases or failing to meet ethical standards.

3. Their level of experience

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Everybody has to start somewhere, and hiring a private investigator that is still in the beginning stages of their career is not something to avoid at all costs and may even be an asset in certain cases as newer PIs don’t have as big a caseload and will be able to devote more time and attention to your case than their more experienced and therefore busier counterparts. However, in more delicate situations, you will want to be sure that you have someone who has had previous experience dealing with situations similar to yours. Their track record will serve as assurance that you’re dealing with someone who has upheld professional and ethical standards in the past.

4. Their stance towards legal “grey areas”

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This is vital information to have when choosing your private investigator. You may believe you have found the right detective, you’ve checked their background and are confident that they won’t jeopardize your case by gathering information using illegal means. However, even when it comes to the law not everything is black and white. There is a grey area that exists between the legal methods of investigation and the completely illegal. In order to be sure of the safety of your case you need to go over which of these grey areas are utilized by your PI and decide whether or not you find them acceptable. Use your contract to establish a firm outline of the methods you’re agreeing to be used in your case.

To further quell any doubts, ask your detective for a look as their previous cases. If they’re reputable they would be able to provide you with a redacted copy of their previous cases that clearly shows the specific methods of investigation they’re used. This is the best way to gather information about the way they operate and decide if they’re someone you want working in your case.

 


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