In the majority of cases, private investigators will charge 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.
What do you charge for the initial consultation?
There is never a charge for the initial consultation.
What can private investigators do that I can not?
Private Investigator’s 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.
To list all of the advantages of using a experienced private investigator is outside of the scope of this website as the information could fill a book or two. But the main point comes down to judgments made from experience. Our investigators have thousands if not tens of thousands of hours of experience working on investigations. To consistently conduct a successful surveillance and mobile surveillance you need an experienced investigator. Could you sit in a vehicle and take pictures and drive behind someone, sure! The downside is when you get caught or confronted by the police you can get injured or into serious trouble. Additionally, now you have lost the valuable element of surprise. Don’t put yourself into a dangerous situation and compromise the discretion of an investigation by trying to do it yourself.
Having a professional licensed investigators report admitted into court or having them testify on your behalf also carries a lot more weight then trying to get evidence admitted that you collected yourself.
I have already been to the police can I still use a private investigator?
Yes, regardless of if the police are looking into a matter or not you can retain the services of a private investigator. In a lot of cases the private investigators will work in conjunction with the police and conduct their own detailed interviews and evidence collection. Private investigators have the advantage of working on one case at a time and can apply the focus and dedication needed to effectively solve cases that are still being worked on by the police. An experienced investigator will also know when to “back off” as to not interfere with the investigation, knowing how to effectively keep the pressure on the police without crossing the line into interfering is a skill that many private investigators have mastered. It is important to check references and ask detailed questions about an investigator’s experience.
How do I know an investigator is working on my case?
The investigators will make every effort to obtain video documentation of any activities during a surveillance period. Often there are extended periods of time when the target is not active, during these times investigators will normally obtain hourly spot shot’s of the surrounding area to show they are present. You can request that video spot shots are taken at more frequent intervals if desired. The investigators will often obtain video of the mail being delivered or other events that can be verified as to the time of the occurrences.
How fast can a private investigator get started on my case?
We can respond to a surveillance request within a couple of hours from receiving the first phone call (with retainer payment) while other investigators may need day’s if not weeks. It is important to remember that although you have questions that you want answered quickly, the success of an investigation is greatly improved when a thorough and detailed pre-surveillance interview with the client is conducted. An investigator may also want to inspect the area where the surveillance is going to take place. This allows the investigator to formulate a plan to ensure the correct resources and manpower are available to execute the investigation or surveillance as smoothly as possible.