Private investigators can be hired to help during divorce proceedings, child custody cases, provide aid in missings person cases, and during criminal investigations.
They often collect evidence using legal methods that can help the client to prove allegations, or to disprove certain allegations.
If you are in need of professional help, you might be wondering how to hire a private investigator. In this article, we will go over the things to look for to ensure you get the best help possible.
How to Hire a Private Investigator
Regardless of your reasoning, hiring a private investigator can be intimidating. You want to make sure you have the right person for the job and that they will get the best results possible.
Before you make any decision, consider doing some research.
1. Ask Around
When hiring private investigators, you want somebody reliable that you can potentially share personal information with. With that in mind, you should ask around close friends and co-workers for recommendations.
Another great way to check out possible names is to look them up on various sites. You should be able to find reviews and comments recommending certain people and warnings on others.
2. Check Their License
Most states require private investigators to hold a license. When you think you have found the right person for you, ask for their license number and check it online in your state, to ensure that it is in date and valid. You can also see if anybody has filed complaints against the investigator.
If you cannot find the information, it may be that the investigator is falsely representing themselves. As the client, you need to know that the person is within legal parameters to work, otherwise what they find may be inadmissible.
Some companies are active across multiple states and can give you the peace of mind you need, knowing that they are well established and reputable. For example, companies like the Worldwide Intelligence Network operate in both California and New York.
According to their website, for the past 29 years, Worldwide Intelligence Network has been providing a full range of investigator services in New York. We are ranked among the Top Five Best Private Investigators
3. Visit Their Office and Ask Questions
Before handing over any money, make sure to visit their office. Investigators that work over the phone or only meet at restaurants may not have a physical place of work. This makes them harder to track down in the event they do not fulfill your agreement.
In addition, don’t be afraid to ask questions about their past cases and education. Although they may not be able to give specifics, they should be able to tell you about the kinds of work they have done in the past.
Along with this, a serious private investigator should be able to provide you with a copy of an old file or have it available on their website. In the event your case goes to court, you will need clear and precise paperwork to present.
4. Sign a Contract
Making clear what is expected and what the payment will be is vital when hiring an investigator. They may have a standard contract or may draw one up depending on your needs. Either way, read it carefully, looking for anything that may be unfair or ambiguous.
For example, in some cases, they may hand off work to partners or subcontractors. If this is not something you are comfortable with, do not sign the contract.
When considering how to hire a private investigator, always do your research. You want to find somebody reliable and with a good track record. Look online and ask around trusted friends.
When you think you have the right person, be sure to meet them at their office, asking questions about their work, and drawing up a contract that you both think is fair.
For more helpful legal tips, visit our Education section.