What is a private investigator?

A private investigator is 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 corrections, law enforcement and/or a military background.

What should I do before hiring an investigator?

It is important that you perform your due diligence before hiring a company. You should do the following: ask for and check references, obtain their license number and check with the state licensing board to make sure they are current and have no complaints.

What/how do private investigators charge?

In the majority of cases, private investigators will charge a flat rate or an hourly rate. Hourly rates can vary based on the type of investigation needed as well as how many investigators will be needed. 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. Additionally some investigators charge for travel time and/or mileage traveled. It is important to get a retainer agreement in place that details all possible fees in order to protect both parties in the unlikely event of a dispute.

Can you provide me with your opinion?

As a private investigator, providing opinions can be a slippery slope. More often than not, our job is simply to identify and present facts. We leave the judgments regarding guilt, innocence, character, emotion, well-being, or state of mind to the client.

We are not judges, jurors, psychologists, or mind readers. We are fact-finders.

In our line of work, we are often tasked with reports on a variety of people for a variety of reasons. The report may be part of a lawsuit, for an investor, for personal use, or for a business deal. The first rule of writing these reports is that we NEVER offer our opinion. Our job is to gather information, analyze it, and report the facts in a clear and concise manner that informs our clients and allows them to make informed decisions. The only opinion that matters is the client’s, not ours.

Can Private Investigators Hack Into People’s Private Online Accounts?

Private investigators may under no circumstances hack into a private account or illicitly gain access to any private device, account, or information. Private investigators use the internet regularly for their investigative activities. They can access people’s social media profiles that are public, browse public databases and websites that contain information about people, and research people in directories of publicly available information.

If you have more questions about what a private investigator can and cannot do, call the professionals at Key Investigative Services, LLC and speak with a licensed PI today.

What can private investigators do that I can not?

Private investigators have access to several information databases that are not available to the general public. But more importantly, they have the training and experience needed to transform the raw data into actionable information.

They can gather a lot of different records, do surveillance, and monitor someone’s movements to determine more about their character and their activities. The information they can gain can include any aliases, their current and previous addresses or phone numbers, whether they own any properties, if they have any professional licenses if they are married, and what their social media profiles are. 

Private investigators can conduct stakeouts and follow individuals to learn more about their movements and what they might be doing. They can search through various databases online to get information on criminal records, marriages and divorces, mortgage records, and voter registrations. They may be able to look through the trash if it is legal in that location and not on private property. They can also interview friends, family members, associates, and neighbors to learn more about the person or to find out where they might be. Any of this information can be used to build a case and to find out as much as possible about the subject they’re keeping an eye on. They can gather the information over some time and then report back to the person who hired them with all of the information they have found.

Private investigators can do quite a bit to get more information about people they are hired to learn about. However, they are required to follow local and federal laws, which means there are certain things that private investigators cannot do, such as arresting someone. When hiring a private investigator, it’s important to work with a PI who is licensed in your local area so that you can have confidence that they will work within the laws that are specific to that jurisdiction.