There are plenty of scammer and underqualified “private investigators” out there that just don’t cut the mustard. This is partly due to the fact that the number of legitimate investigators has been on the rise, increasing 2.2 percent in 2019 alone.
There is a checklist of things to consider when choosing private investigators.
Plus, it has become standard practice these days to utilize a private investigator if you’re an attorney – to give you a real edge over the opposition.
So here are some substantial criteria to follow before hiring.
- 1 Are They Licensed?
- 2 What’s Their Experience and Education?
- 3 Can They Provide Examples and References?
- 4 Do They Use State-of-the-Art Tech?
- 5 Is Their Pricing Fair?
- 6 Do They Have a Professional Code of Ethics?
- 7 Don’t Decide Over the Phone!
- 8 Why an Attorney Should Hire a Private Investigator
- 9 Choosing Private Investigators Made Easier!
Are They Licensed?
First and foremost, you need to know if a private investigator is appropriately licensed. As well, a competent private investigator should be properly insured.
However, it can be a little tricky to know the licenses or regulations involved for private investigators in different states.
With just a little research for your state, you should be able to find what you need.
What’s Their Experience and Education?
A private investigator with a longstanding background in law will always be one of the best options.
Yet, a person with excellent legal knowledge might not have the best skills to deal with more socially orientated scenarios. These could include tracking a cheating spouse, for example.
The best way forward is to know exactly what you require the private investigator to do. You need to find someone with proven relevant experience to suit your needs. Education isn’t always the best thing to go by, as some investigator’s talents may lie in other areas.
Can They Provide Examples and References?
Following on from experience and education, we think one of the best ways to measure up a private investigator is by looking at readily available examples of their work.
Get the investigator to run you through their methodology and mindset. The more you can gauge the way they think and operate, the more you’ll know whether they are suitable for your requirements.
Do They Use State-of-the-Art Tech?
There will be old-school investigators out there that say they don’t need to rely on special tech tools to get their job done.
However, this sort of attitude seems hopeful. With a vast array of sophisticated technology, such as real-time GPS trackers, competent private investigators can gain a decisive advantage over the more traditional-minded professionals.
Ask your potential investigator what types of technology they use and if any will be employed in your investigation. After all, technology can provide undeniable evidence.
Is Their Pricing Fair?
A private investigator’s price should be heavily linked to their proven track record.
After spending time vetting the investigator in question and comparing their services, techniques, and then pricing to others, you’ll soon get an idea if their pricing is fair or not.
But you also have to think that you get what you pay for with anything in this world. If a qualified, licensed, insured, and highly successful private investigator asks for a hefty fee, it’s probably because they’re worth their salt!
Do They Have a Professional Code of Ethics?
Some private investigators out there have shady ethics, as you would expect in such an industry.
The best way to get an understanding of the private investigator you’re considering is to keep asking questions. Look at their past work for dodgy procedures, and even ask them if they are willing to do unethical things to get the job done.
With a bit of intelligent questioning, you should soon find out whether an investigator has the integrity and a good enough professional code of ethics for you to work with them.
Don’t Decide Over the Phone!
Here’s one huge mistake that many people make when opting for a private investigator.
By just hiring an investigator over the phone, you’ll be bypassing many of the tips and advice we’ve mentioned. Plus, you’ll just be taking the person on their word of mouth. It’s just too risky to employ someone to deal with delicate matters that could be very personal to you over the phone.
We recommend that you, at the very least, have a video conference call and check out all their credentials via email. Also, check out their website and try to find any reviews. Ideally, if you can, visit them in their office as nothing beats face-to-face conversation regarding judging someone’s character and professionalism.
Why an Attorney Should Hire a Private Investigator
The reasons why an attorney should hire a private investigator are pretty obvious. Attorneys might not have the necessary skills or want to get “out in the field,” so to speak. Yet, they might find out some detailed information that’s needed to fortify a case.
It makes complete sense for attorneys to work side-by-side with private investigators. This way they achieve their goals in a case, and many gain a competitive advantage over other attorneys.
Choosing Private Investigators Made Easier!
All the seven factors discussed in this article are the bare bones for what you should be looking for when choosing private investigators. After you’ve established all of these factors positively, you need to get more specific about what you require from your investigator.
The key is to try to develop a working relationship with a very competent private investigator to know where you stand with them. The last thing you want is to hire an unreliable person who’s handling sensitive information. They could be unethical and conduct themselves in an unprofessional manner.
Thanks for reading, and please feel free to check out any of our other helpful blog and news articles.