Characteristics of an Effective Private Investigator

Many people do not realize that to become a private investigator, an individual must complete many hours of training for certification.  A licensed investigator is a true professional that possesses very specialized skills.  While there are unqualified people out there who call themselves “private investigators,” the smart consumer should take time to do some research to locate an effective and professional p.i.

There are a few ways to locate a private investigator in your area.  The best way is to ask friends or family for a referral.  Often, attorneys work closely with private investigators to gather information for lawsuits.  If you know an attorney, he or she may be able to recommend someone experienced in the services you require.  Another way to find some possible candidates is to go to the private investigators licensing organization in your state.  They can give you names and contact information for licensed investigators in your area.

Keep in mind that there are different licensing standards in each state for private investigators.  For example, in North Carolina, you have to be licensed by the Private Protective Services Board.  This organization issues each investigator a license as proof of certification.  No matter what state you live in, there are similar requirements.

Before you reveal confidential information to an investigator, take some time talk with him about his experience and credentials.  A true professional should have no problem providing certifications and proof of the training he has received.  If an investigator claims to have expertise in a specific service, be sure that he has the documentation to justify his claim.

It is a good idea to speak with a few investigators to judge which person you feel most comfortable with.  After all, depending on the situation, you may need to reveal very intimate details that may be difficult to communicate without feeling embarrassment.  Be sure to work with a professional who makes you feel confident and secure.  You will want to stay away from anyone who is overly persistent or aggressive with you.  At the interview you should ask to meet any assistants or associates who may be working on your case as well.

When choosing a private investigator, you want to know exactly what kinds of services he will provide.  Be sure that all surveillance is well documented should you need it later for a court proceeding.  A good investigator has a keen attention to detail.  This characteristic allows him to make discoveries that may not be obvious to the average person.  Concise and complete documentation allows the client to understand what facts the investigator is basing his conclusions on.

Be sure that you have clear information concerning the costs associated with the services.  He should provide you with a written contract that is easy to understand.  Any retainers required as well as an hourly rate should be clearly documented.  Sometimes and investigator can give you an estimate for a specific service.  It is imperative that you have a clear understanding of the contract and billing to ensure that you receive the services you require at the price you expect.

Unfortunately, there are a few unscrupulous people out there who have hurt the reputation of private investigators everywhere.  If you do you research and find a licensed, competent professional, you should feel confident that you will get the information you need in a timely manner.

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