Once upon a time, hiring a private investigator (PI) was, to coin a phrase, elementary. Those were the innocent days when computer hacking and phone taps were very rare. Today, private investigations have become the day-to-day talk. People are now hiring private investigators for many, different cases such as tracing missing people, insurance fraud, computer forensics, countering intellectual property theft and gathering proof of adultery.
You might find it easy to assume that most PIs are not qualified or well up to the task. There are many PIs that practice to an ethical code, providing excellent value for their fees. Regardless of the reason, it’s important that you hire a good private investigator. First, you should specifically identify what it’s you want to know. Point out your expectations and assess how much you can afford to spend. Here are some of the services offered by PIs:
Private investigators are often hired for divorce cases. Do you think your wife or husband is having an affair? Could there be hidden assets? Could your spouse’s conduct be endangering your children? Do you think your ex is cohabitating with someone while you’re supporting them? Could your spouse be lying that they’re not working when they’re indeed working? These are just some examples of the many questions a private investigator could help answer in divorce cases.
Hidden Money: Hiring a PI could mean the difference between a win and a loss in battles over children and money. It might sound invasive, but it’s a suitably practical way of protecting oneself. PIs are beneficial in exposing hidden assets as they’ve access to select records and databases which the average person wouldn’t find.
Infidelity Proof: You could be well aware that your spouse is cheating. You’ll still need reliable proof if you want it to help you. While a PI may not have access to your spouse’s phone records, they might have the skills necessary to recover lost or deleted communication that proves infidelity.
Child Custody Investigations
In custody battles, people tend to enter the courtroom with their own stories which are filled with unsupported allegations. Bear in mind that any success you’ll have in the courtroom will be directly dependent on the evidence or proof your produce. Most people don’t know what reliable proof is and how much is needed. Most of these legal disputes take a long time to resolve. Of all domestic investigations, the most complex are child custody cases.
Judges need to be completely certain that they’re making the right decision considering that so much is at stake- the custody of children. Lack of ‘concrete’ proof could jeopardize losing primary custody, and even visitation in some cases. Good private investigators have the experience required to build a solid, strong custody case. A PI will look for proof that will help you win the case.
PIs might look for proof like whether your ex uses drugs or drinks alcohol, whether they’re acting irresponsible or if they’re leading a lifestyle that’s of questionable turpitude. Does he/she verbally or physically abuse the child? Are they dating someone who might be dangerous to be around the child? Child custody cases are as serious as complex they’re. A private investigator could mean your win in the case. More importantly, choose a good PI and you’re more likely to succeed.
Various circumstances can prompt you to seek the services of a private investigator that specializes in or is well versed in computer forensics. The techniques involved in computer forensic investigations are used for computer-based and computer-facilitated crimes. Such crimes include financial fraud, cyber-bullying, cyber stalking, child pornography, embezzlement, hacking, rape and murder. The list is endless.
More and more criminals are making use of computing technologies to organize and execute crimes. Luckily, we have many private investigators that have specialized in computer forensics. It’s important that you provide your private investigator with all of the information they’d need to conduct an accurate, complete and thorough investigation.
Computer forensics experts can retrieve emails, social media correspondence, internet chat sites, find messages and persons contacted. Data gives detailed proof of what happened. Data extracted by your PI can help settle various disputes such as identity theft, invasion of privacy, wrongful termination disputes, harassment of different natures and also assist parents with troubled teens.
Hiring a Good, Licensed Private Investigator
If you’re seeking the services of a PI, you should then consider obtaining a written contract containing the details of what’s expected, the fees payable, time limits, as well as what your PI can actually perform. Verbal contracts are allowed and common, but you might end up having difficulties in case problems occur later and there was no written agreement. Often, PIs will bill their clients for office consultations, making copies, phone calls and ‘stand-by’ time. Stand-by time is when you direct your private investigator to wait on your behalf for a certain event to occur.
A good PI is one who’s experienced in their work and has legal access to necessary investigative equipment. Ensure that your private investigator is licensed, bonded, experienced and insured. Before hiring a PI, it’d be wise to check on your prospects using consumer assistance groups, research reports on the Internet and examine other sources of business information.
Training resources for investigators: IICI – Institute for International Criminal Investigations
How is a PI defined? Find the answer at the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services website.
Care to read about real PI cases? You can here.