Things To Know When Hiring A Private Investigator

Posted on: 5 December 2018

Private investigation services can serve a vital role for individuals that are needing an investigation completed that may not warrant criminal charges or police involvement. Despite private investigators being fairly common and popularly portrayed in the media, there are many misconceptions that clients can have about using these services.

Can A Private Investigator Take Individuals Into Custody?

It is commonly assumed that a private investigator will always have the authority to take individuals into custody. However, this is an ability that is only reserved for police. Rather, a private investigator is primarily an information gatherer. Whether it is locating a person that is hard to find or attempting to confirm their whereabouts on a particular day, the information that these professionals gather can be instrumental in resolving your case or problem.

Why Should You Not Attempt To Perform Your Own Private Investigation?

Whether it is due to concerns about the costs of using these services or embarrassment about the situation needing to be investigated, some individuals will attempt to perform their own private investigation work. This can prove disastrous as there are many legal requirements and regulations that these investigators must follow. If you fail to adhere to these standards, you could face civil lawsuits or even criminal charges. Furthermore, your efforts at gathering information may not be as effective due to those involved with the situation being familiar with you.

How Will A Private Investigator Bill You For The Work That They Do?

The costs of a private investigator are most often based on their hourly rate. As a result, the exact costs of the case will depend on the complexity and difficulty of the matter being investigated. For example, attempting to locate a person may require the investigator to spend time driving to areas the party frequented, which can take sizable amounts of time. To help you manage the budget for this project, these investigators will typically require a retainer fee, and you will be provided a detailed report outlining the way that the retainer has been used, which will include both the investigator's hourly rate along with any fees that were incurred by the investigation, such as document requests and copying fees.

Can The Evidence Collected By A Private Investigator Be Used In Legal Proceedings?

While a private investigator will lack the capacity to arrest or otherwise detain individuals, the evidence that they collect can still be used during legal proceedings. This can make retaining these services invaluable to those that are needing to collect evidence to resolve a complex legal dispute.