There are a multitude of reasons you may need to hire a private investigator at some point in your life. You may have a spouse you believe is cheating, need to locate child support payments, or even gather information to help you win a favorable ruling in court.
However, actually hiring a PI can be a daunting task. There are countless individuals offering these services, they all specialize in different forms of tracking, and they vary in quality dramatically. So, I’m going to help you hire the perfect PI for your needs with a convenient checklist that will walk you through each step.
Let’s get started.
Hire the Right Specialist
Who you hire directly affects the results of your investigation. As we stated earlier, different private investigators have different strengths. Some might be more suitable for confirming the identity of online catfish, and others will be better at tracking down parents who avoid paying child support.
You need a professional suitable for your needs, and the best way to find one is to check their website and client testimonies.
Make sure you’re picking someone who specializes in handling your type of case.
Nearly every state requires private investigators to apply for a state-specific license for their area of operations.
Any time you begin contacting one, you should ask to see their license and ensure that they can legally perform their duties. If they’re unlicensed, keep looking.
Acknowledge Red Flags
Private investigators will know a lot of intimate details about you, and you need to be comfortable divulging those details as the case requires. Take time to speak to potential hires, and make sure you can communicate comfortably with them.
That’s not all, though. Professional private investigators will be transparent with you. They’ll be very clear about their pricing, licensing, skillsets, and other aspects of their business. If you interview someone who won’t provide that information, move on immediately.
Gather Your Own Information
A private investigator can provide much better results when you’ve taken the time to gather as much information as possible prior to hiring them.
You should know who or what you need to be tracked, what you’re specifically hoping to gain from the investigation, any last-known whereabouts, sources the private investigator can gather information from, and just a firm understanding of the case in general.
This will help the case move along faster, too. As a result, you can end up paying less due to the fewer hands-on hours the private investigator needs to complete his investigation.
Expect to Pay Hourly
Many private investigators charge per hour. This rate will vary greatly depending on your location, the type of case you have, and how long it’s expected to take. However, you can typically expect to pay $55 to $75 per hour for standard investigations.
Schedule a Consultation After Gathering Your Own information
Finally, good private investigators offer potential clients a consultation to discuss the case and get to know their clients before either side commits to an agreement.
Schedule this consultation after you’ve gotten as much relevant information as possible, and be prepared to answer a lot of questions.
Don’t just answer the private investigator’s questions, though. Use this time to implement the other points we’ve listed, and make your own decision regarding how comfortable you are hiring the investigator.
You’re Ready to Go
After you’ve had consultation visits with a few potential hires, take some time to review your options, and pick the best one for you. Once you’ve decided, it’s as easy as scheduling a follow-up appointment to set the case in motion.
Article submitted by Robison Legal Services