Frequently Asked Questions About Private Investigations
All you need to know before hiring a Private Investigator in Los Angeles
Who can hire a Private Investigator?
Just about anyone but the usual people that hire PI’s are attorneys, businesses, family members for domestic investigations …all of them can hire private investigators to help solve their problems and get the evidence they need.
How Much Does a PI Cost to Follow Someone?
When the question is one of cheating spouse, what we call infidelity or adultery, for example, a partner who is in another relationship can potentially be confirmed in a couple of hours. Some cases are not so easy and it might take several days. Some investigators won’t handle domestic assignments so make sure they will.
If you are connected with a compassionate PI they would want to provide results as soon as possible because they understand a person with these types of concerns are living with a lot of stress. Look for someone who wants to give you that peace of mind.
When looking for a private investigator, it is only natural for you to want to know how much it is likely to cost you. As Kinsey Investigations knows all too well, there is no such thing as a “typical” investigation, which means that sadly there is in most circumstances no so-called ‘flat-rate’ for these types of services.
Every private investigator is unique, and whilst many of the techniques and processes they carry out are similar, every case is ultimately different.
With adultery, it usually takes surveillance. You would have to try to think of the other person’s patterns, know their schedule or time of suspected activity. Obviously, home and work addresses are the best. If you know where he SHOULD be on a particular day, like he says he’s unavailable on Tues nights–poker with the guys. We see if he really goes to poker that night.
Private Investigator fees can vary depending on the company, and it’s important to find one that you trust, not just one that offers the cheapest rates. You are paying for time and expertise, and more than often, an experienced investigator will t It can run about $85-150 an hour with a minimum of 4 or 5 hours per assignment. You can usually negotiate the hourly rate if you do long hours. We charge for a minimum of 4 hours at $100/hour. So 4 hours would be $400. We can stay as long as you like, but there is a minimum of 4 hours.
Women are best at this. Our female investigators are never suspected as surveilling.
We have both men and women. The ladies know how to blend. Our men look like someone you’d meet at the gym or at a coffee shop. Not obvious.
We provide you with date/time-stamped video of what we find after our surveillance. Text message updates during the event. And a timeline of what occurred. If they go somewhere public, say a restaurant, we also go in and try to spot them. IE, they may have dinner. My person might be at the bar.
We get the film.
It is also likely that extra fees incurred such as mileage and other job expenses will be added on to the original asking price, however, at Kinsey Investigations, our fees are fully inclusive of all job expenses.
How to hire a private investigator?
Finding a trustworthy and qualified private investigator can be an intimidating task so here are some tips to help you know how to hire a private investigator.
- Get a referral. It is likely that you will be sharing personal information with this person and so it important to find someone reliable. Do as much research on the investigator as possible.
- Check their license. A professional private investigator will be able to give you their license number immediately and you can check it with the state licensing board to make sure it’s valid, has a matching name to your private investigator and if any complaints have been filed against them.
- Ask about their experience and education. To make sure your job gets done right, find a detective who specializes in the task you need. Ask about how much work they have done similar to what you want in the past and how those jobs worked out.
- Talk about confidentiality. You are very likely dealing with sensitive information when you are working with a private investigator and you need to be sure your PI will be discreet and respectful of information shared between the two of you.
- Feel comfortable with the private investigator. If you don’t feel like the private investigator communicates well with you or if they pressure you or make you feel uncomfortable in any way, you should probably choose a different private investigator to work with.
- Get a retainer agreement. Your initial consultation with a private detective should be free and from there, they should be able to outline anticipated cost. If you choose to follow through with the work, make sure all fees and expectations are clearly outlined in a contract.
How to Investigate a Cheating Spouse
Signs Your Partner Is Cheating On You
The number one indication that your spouse may be cheating is an sudden need for privacy. If your spouse has always been a “private” person, even with you, this may not indicate an affair. But if your spouse was previously open with you, and suddenly is withdrawn and is keeping things from you that he or she previously shared, this could indicate an affair.
- Asks about your schedule more often than usual
- Significantly less, or more, or different sex in your relationship
- Begins to use new or free e-mail account
- Periods where your significant other is unreachable
- Cell phone bills contain calls with long duration
- Changing previously shared passwords and not sharing the new password
- Clearing internet history every time the computer is used
- Clothes smell of perfume or cologne
- Creating new personal email addresses, or using a secret email address
- Deleting call and text history
- Deleting e-mail messages
- Gets his / her laundry done independently
- Has a second phone, especially one he or she didn’t tell you about
- Has more cash on hand without accountability
- Has unexplained receipts in wallet or purse
- Leaving the room to take phone calls
- Mileage on car is high yet he / she reports only short distance errands
- Minimizing computer screens when you enter the room
- Now has a phone card but never used one before
- Password protecting phones or computers when they never did before
- Unexplained payments on bank statements or credit card bills
- Uses computer alone and secretly
- Your partner is hostile toward you and your relationship
What does a Private Investigator do?
Private investigators search for clues to gather evidence for private clients and court cases. Private investigators interview people, verify information, conduct surveillance, find missing persons, and gather vital facts for cases. In today’s technology, some of these clues might even be someone’s digital footprint digital facts. Slander sent via email or even a hate post posted on any of the social media sites. Sure, they might have taken it down….but there are still ways to find it.
Some of a private investigators daily tasks might be but not limited to something like this:
serving legal documents and court citations, performing background checks on people, interviewing people to gather information on a case, collecting evidence to be used in a court of law, investigating crimes,going undercover to find information, researching information related to a case, doing surveillance work,
Difference between private detective and private investigator
While police detectives are involved only in criminal activity, private investigators are involved in private sector issues like civil litigation, matrimonial matters, civil fraud cases and locating witnesses in in civil suits, etc. Some private investigators also concentrate on criminal cases are usually retained by a criminal attorney or the justice system for specific criminal cases.
Do Private Investigators work with Police?
Yes, we work with police all the time. We just had a ‘missing persons” case. We made sure the family filed a missing person’s case with the local police. This goes into a nationwide database.
We need the police to take the report. Once the person is found, we need to let the police also know that we found them so they can be taken out of the nationwide system.
Sometimes we find home invasions or criminal activity at people’s workplaces. We encourage the family or the business to get the police involved and in many instances, we show the police what we uncovered. One particular officer actually asked me how I found this one particular vehicle (license plate recognition software).
Do private investigators have to be licensed?
Given the growing number of private investigators in the U.S., many states have adopted strict regulations and licensing requirements for these professionals. Most states require private investigators to obtain a license to practice; this includes the state of California.
The state of California requires a license through the BSIS, the California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS) licenses private investigators in the state. A PI license allows the holder to work independently or manage a private investigative firm.
To verify a PI license in the state of CA, go to: https://www.bsis.ca.gov/forms_pubs/online_services/verify_license.shtml
Some cities or counties have even mandatory licensing and other additional requirements for PIs. Feel free to ask about your future private investigator license if you consider hiring him/her, and if you don’t get a crystal clear answer, do yourself a favor and just walk away.
What does it take to become a licensed private investigator?
In the U.S., each state has its own legislation regarding the practice of private investigative businesses, license requirements and the licensing process varies from state to state. Minimum requirements to obtain a California PI license include, but are not limited to:
- Acquire Stipulated Experience/Education in California (3 years work experience under a PI)
- Get Fingerprinted in California
- Obtain, Complete and Submit California Application Packet
- Take and Pass California’s PI Examination
Begin Working as a Licensed PI in California
Fulfilling all these requirements does not make a private investigator a GOOD private investigator. Experience, extreme attention to details, mastering new technologies and knowing the law is extremely important!
Most states also prohibit candidates who have felony or misdemeanor convictions involving crimes of moral turpitude from becoming private investigators.
Can a Private Investigator carry a concealed weapon?
Yes. A Private Investigator may carry a concealed weapon on duty if he/she has a current and clear BSIS exposed firearms permit and possesses a concealed weapons to permit issued by a local law enforcement agency.