What Is a Private Investigator?

A private investigator, or PI for short, is a professional who is hired to investigate a variety of matters. Private investigators usually work on behalf of individuals, lawyers and businesses to uncover facts and evidence that may be used in court proceedings.

Private investigators are able to access public records, interview witnesses and suspects, and conduct surveillance activities. They may also use equipment such as tracking devices, computer software and cameras. Private investigators must use discretion when collecting information and must comply with privacy laws.

Private investigators may be employed to investigate cases related to civil or criminal matters. For example, a PI may be hired to investigate a possible fraud case, an insurance claim, or a missing person. They may also be hired to locate a person who has skipped bail, or to execute a background check on potential employees.

Private investigators typically charge an hourly rate for their services and may require a retainer fee before they begin their investigation. The cost of a private investigation can vary greatly depending on the complexity of the investigation and the amount of time spent on the case.

Private investigators must complete a training program and obtain a license in order to practice. Some states may require additional training and certification. Private investigators must also adhere to local and state laws regarding surveillance and confidentiality.

If you are looking to hire a private investigator, it is important to choose a reputable and experienced PI. Be sure to ask questions about their experience and qualifications, and ask for references from past clients. Hiring a qualified and experienced private investigator can save you time, money and stress in the long run.

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