A private investigator, or PI, is a professional who specializes in surveillance, research, and other methods of investigation. Though they are not actually police officers, most of the best private investigators have backgrounds in criminal justice, with some states even requiring it to work as a licensed PI. Private investigators work for companies, attorneys, and individuals to collect evidence and other information for cases.
Now that you know what a private investigator does, the important question is, how do you hire a PI?
Tips for Hiring a PI
Finding the best private investigator who is qualified and trustworthy can be a daunting task. Here are some tips to make the process easier for you:
Obtain a Referral
Much like if you were hiring a building contractor, you want to know you’re hiring someone reputable and experienced. This is especially true when you go to hire a private investigator because you will be sharing personal information with him or her.
Aside from doing extensive internet research, you should also try to ask trusted friends or family members if they know of someone who could help. You can also ask the PI for references that you can contact. Someone who’s been in business awhile and has a lot of cases under their belt will have plenty of references to offer.
Verify their License
Most states have license requirements for Private Investigators. There only states that do not require licensing are Alaska, Idaho, Mississippi, South Dakota, and Wyoming. If you live in a state that requires licensing, ask the detective for their license number, and then verify it with the proper local authorities. Verify if the name matches, if they’ve had past complaints, and if the license is indeed valid.
Choose a PI with an Office
Since private detective work is a sensitive line of business, you want to ensure the PI is legit. One easy way to tell if the person is serious about their work, and not a “fly-by-night” is if he or she has an office. Be wary of someone who only works via phone calls or from public places.
Inquire About Their Background
Be sure to ask the PI plenty of questions about their background. Ultimately, you want to know if the person is qualified to help you. Hence, you’ll want to inquire about things such as if they have an education in criminal justice and have worked similar cases in the past. Those with a criminal justice education often make the best private investigators because they understand the laws and know how to obtain information and evidence legally.
Are They Insured?
Just like any other contractor, the best private investigators are insured. While this isn’t necessary if you are only asking the detective to conduct a background search, it’s a whole different scenario if the person will be going into the field for you. If they are uninsured and damages or injuries occur in the line of duty under your hiring, you could be held responsible for the damages.
How to Hire a PI
In the end, choosing the best private investigator will take some time and effort on your part. The key is to ask lots of questions and conduct plenty of research. Doing so will ensure that you hire a PI you can trust to get the job done right.
Castro Investigative Agency is licensed, bonded, insured, and has 25 years of experience. We have offices in New York, Florida, and the Dominican Republic, and operate internationally. Whether you are a concerned spouse or an international corporation, we can help. Contact Us today.