Category Archives: Investigation

Private Detectives: A Quick Overview

A private detective is a person who conducts secret investigations for a person or an organization on payment of a particular sum of money. The person or the organization that a private detective works is usually not related to the government, military or police.

A private detective can work for an attorney, a corporate firm, a famous personality, or an insurance company and even for a simple person. The magnitude of work for a detective is quite broad. To work as a private detective is quite exciting, thrilling and challenging. But this job involves physical confrontation at times. There is always a chance of danger in this field.

Regarding the training and education to become a private detective, there is no specific academic degree. But you can get training in a private detective school to help you grasp the nuances of your role and the job. This way, you begin with an added advantage in learning the tips and techniques quite early. It will come in handy during the course of a particular project. Moreover, most of the training schools provide physical training sessions in undercover investigations. They also train you to use various gadgets and instruments that a detective uses. If you are student of psychology, criminal justice, criminology, political science, than you definitely have an upper hand in this field.

In the case of corporate investigations, the clients often prefer investigators who have a graduation or a masters degree in business.

The working condition of private detectives is quite irregular. Because detectives have to meet people at odd times, they often have to work in the weekends, holidays apart from early morning and late nights.

The nature of work also varies according to the client. They may be asked to assure the security of a famous personality like a singer, dancer, or actor. Sometimes they may be asked to follow somebody’s wife and husband to check for evidence of adultery or any other illegal relationships. They may even be asked to assist an attorney in collecting facts and evidences either to prosecute or save a person. In many cases, they are asked to collect background information on the employees that a company hires. A private detective may also be hired to find the actual culprit in cases where the client feels justice was not done by the legal authorities.

In most of the states in order to become a private detective, you need to have a license. In some states you might just need some years of experience under a good detective.

The salary in this field is nothing rosy to begin with. Sometimes you might be flooded with work and sometimes you might have to sit idle for weeks at a stretch. There is no fixed income in this field. The beginning is usually the toughest and most disappointing phase in terms of pay. But if you prove your worth in your work, you will earn yourself a good name, lots of fame and pots of money, all at one go!

Investigator Employment

An investigator is a person who collects information and evidences on behalf of his client. This client can be a corporate body or a private individual. Employment in this sector is quite large and also easy to get. This is because of the growing number of crimes and criminals in the world, people who are competent to deal with this are less in number. Another reason it is easy to get a job is this segment is because formal or professional education as in other professions is not required.

What are the positives and negatives for seeking employment in this sector?

The greatest plus point about investigating is the challenge, sense of thrill, adventure and excitement which brings immense job satisfaction. You also get name and fame quite quickly in this profession.

Regarding the negatives of this profession, there are many. There are no formal working hours because you will work mostly in the early mornings, late nights, on holidays and weekends. There is no fixed salary or pay. Often you have to begin with a meager amount and sometimes without enough work. But that changes as you prove your worth. Then you can name your price because this job also involves a great amount of danger to your life.

What are the required qualifications to apply as an investigator?

As stated earlier, there is no strict degree required. But still a graduate degree in subjects like political science, criminology, criminal justice, psychology can help. Many training schools have come up. These would provide practical training on various aspects of investigation. A certificate from a training school brightens your chances of getting employed soon.

Also before going for employment, check for details on the license requirements in your area. In most of the states in the U.S., you need a license to work as an investigator. In several places, you need some amount of experience under a good detective. Strangely in some places, none of this required and you can get a license without any such requirements by just sitting for an examination.

What are the areas that one gets to work?

The work of an investigator spans a wide canvas. It can vary according to the requirements of the client.

Below are some of the specific types of areas that an investigator gets to work in :

A famous personality like a actor, singer or sportsman often employs a investigator to see if there are any threats to his life. An investigator is expected to work undercover and detect plans and also thwart any plans of harm to his client.

An attorney also takes the help of an investigator to look for evidences and witnesses. An investigator is expected to learn all facts relating to the case in order to help the attorney. He may also have to present his observations and reports before a court.

Investigators are employed by individuals to check for any proof of adultery in the personal lives of individuals.

In many insurance companies, investigators are employed to see if the claims made are true or not.

With new kinds of crimes and new types of criminals, the demand for private investigations will reach an all-time high. The job prospects are immense, the job satisfaction simply awesome. For those who want an adventurous profession, this is definitely the closest you can get.

How To Hire Private Investigator?

Private investigation can range from checking whether your spouse is loyal or not, performing background checks of your employees to catching an international criminal also. The possibilities are actually endless. The investigative work is often done secretly. Because of its secretive purpose, it is essential to maintain secrecy at all times when you hire a private detective.

Following are some of the tips that can help you to decide how to hire a detective or a detective agency:

First of all you need to check whether the detective agency has any license or not. In most of the states, it is mandatory to have a license to conduct any private investigation. Also confirm whether the license is valid or not. You can do this asking for a license number. Then call the state licensing authority and find out whether that license number is still valid or not.

Always clarify beforehand that you need a contract just like in any other occupation, defining what information you want from him. If this is not acceptable to him, simply search for another agency.

You need to confirm how many years of experience the detective agency has. Avoid opting for an agency where the detective is a retired personnel from the military or police and has opened an agency for mere survival. Even if the fee is cheap, avoid it. Also do not opt for a detective agency where the detective is just 20 year old and a fresher right after graduation. You should do a proper research on the background of the detective and also his success rate and reputation before choosing one.

A good source of determining whether the detective agency is good or not is through the media. Often good work of the detectives gets published. Look for articles on these with the help of the Internet. Also many statutory or registered bodies like Certified Legal Investigator (CLI), National Association of Legal Investigators (NALI), and Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) give special recognitions and certification to those who have excelled in their areas of specialization. So look out for this also.

The detective agency where you intend to go must be insured or must have bonds. In many a cases, it is seen that if some damage to some property like the car or a building occurs, the one who employed the investigator gets exposed. So take notice of this pertinent fact also.

While hiring an investigator, you must be ready to handle all the questions from his side also. The reason why you want to employ an investigator should be clear. You should not hide anything from him. This is important as in many cases it is commonly seen that detectives were also used for wrong purposes.

Clear all your queries on the amount of fees as well. An investigator usually charges on an hourly basis plus the reimbursement of the expenses incurred during solving your case. Reimbursement expenses generally include, hotel bills, airfare, vehicle rental, tolls, gasoline, telephone calls, payments made to sources of information etc.

With all the information you are now armed with, there is no need to worry. Just go ahead and search for your investigator.

Become a Private Investigator

A private investigator is a person who makes secret investigations and collects information for a person or a organization. Usually the clients are not related to the government or the police. That is why investigators can work on a variety of areas. It can be for a defense attorney, for an insurance firm and even for personal matters.

Now to become a private investigator, most importantly you require some specific personal traits. You need to be daring, persistent, with inquisitive and good reasoning skills. It would be an added advantage to be organized and have good communication skills.

Below are some of the tips that can guide you further to become a private investigator:

* First of all you need to search for the agency in your respective area that regulates private investigators. Then you need to ask them how to procure a license. This is required because in many areas, state governments had made it mandatory for those who apply for a license to work under some private detective agency or some experienced investigator. But in some areas, you just need some paperwork about your background and employment experience to get the license.

* Although no form education is required to become a private investigator, there are some subjects and areas that you should be comfortable with to become a successful private investigator. You need to study the general legal practices of your area and possess a good knowledge of civil procedure and criminal justice. You can even study on your own by researching in a library. Reading on the following areas would definitely help you in your detective profession – Rules and Regulations of Private Investigators, Burden of Proof , Prosecution and Defendant, Preponderance of evidence v. beyond a reasonable doubt, Personal Injury, Attorney Client Privilege, Preservation of Evidence, Witness testimony, Rules of Evidence, Forensic Photography etc. Also there are many private detective schools that give training and also help to get a license. But ultimately, the main factor that determines how much you excel in this field depends on your hunger to do your best and sharpen the investigative skills which you have.

* You need to be aware that private investigators are paid very irregular and sometimes can be less than what you expect. So to pursue this career, you should be prepared to live on a low income at the beginning.

* You need to be adept at using the following as the tools that you would require at every stage of your work car, fax machine, computer, a telephoto or camera lens, and a video camera. If you work in a detective agency then they would have all these. But the point is that if you possess all this beforehand, it will magnify your skill.

California Investigators

California is one of the richest countries in America. The region is every mans dream: flooded with gold, agricultural produce and also mind boggling revenues from the film industry. Yet, is the center point of illegal immigrants from all over the world. Because of this problem, it is considered as the hotbed of many illegal activities. Due to this fact, California is one of the states in the U.S. which has the largest number of investigators. This is a well known fact throughout the world.

Investigators in California performs a variety of actions, They chase after hardcore criminals, they check background investigations of employees of big corporate bodies, maintain security of famous personalities, do undercover surveillances in personal lives for any traces of adultery, and even check insurance claims. Simply put, they deal with every aspect of private investigation.

To work as a private investigator in California, you need a valid license. The Licensing Division, Bureau of Security and Investigative Services is the body that issues licenses to the investigators. Issuing licenses takes place only after properly scrutinizing the documents and conducting a test that the applicant is required to pass to get the license.

Locating a good detective in California is quite a task. Following is a list of some prominent detective agencies in the state of California. This will help you in locating a good detective quickly:

Alias Confidential Investigations: With over 20 years of experience, this agency has detectives over the whole state of California northern , southern and central California. This agency is a member of popular investigative associations like California association of licensed investigators, private investigators in California, world association of detectives. Investigators from this agency have a specialized approach to time management. The USP of this agency is clear: you do not have to wait for years for a case to be solved.

Banks Detective Agency: comprises of a professional team of detectives who were previously experienced as law enforcement officers. The agency is specially concentrated in the southern part of California. It deals with all types of cases. It spans infidelity, surveillance, civil and criminal matters, locating people, internal workplace matters, background checks, debugging, criminal defense, business related issues , undercover operations. The offices remain open throughout the week and no charges are taken for the initial consultation.

Cal-State Recovery: This is another prominent detective agency which is located in southern part of California. With over 35 years of experience in private investigations, it deals with cases background information for insurance companies and also matters relating to law firms and private individuals. This agency works fully under the rules and regulations.

Apart from the above mentioned agencies, another useful way to search for investigators in California is by using the media and Internet. This way, you can also access articles and reviews on the performance of the detectives to remain informed about the quality of a particular detective agency or detective.

Are You Looking For Private Investigation Jobs?

Private investigation is a job that involves collecting information on behalf of a person or an organization. This person or organization is in no way connected to the government, police or military. The magnitude of a private investigation job is quite large.

Following are some of the jobs that a private detective is usually asked to perform:

A private detective job may involve maintaining the security of a famous celebrity like a singer, actor, sportsman or any other well known personality. He may not need to directly act as a bodyguard. He may work undercover to see if there are any plans to harm the person. Sometimes he may be required to foil such plans.

In a lot of legal cases, a private detective might be asked to do a special job. He is asked to gather evidence or interview witnesses as part of defending or prosecuting somebody. He may also be required to present his reports and observations on the case in a court of law.

In a lot cases, a detective is employed by either the husband or the wife to check if any adultery or illegal relationship is evident. This is one of the more common areas where a private investigator is employed. Here he may be required to also produce evidence of his observations. Evidence could be in the form of photographs, letters, and so on.

In many private companies, a private detective is employed to make a background search of all the employees that it hires. The background search may involve information. Information may relate to the medical, criminal, civil history of the employee, scope for duplicity in identity and phone numbers etc.

What is the eligibility for a private investigation job? There is no formal degree required to get a job as a private detective. A degree in law, criminology, or political science will be an added advantage. In some areas, you need to have a valid license to be a private detective. Also, there are many private detective schools that teach the basics as well as the tips and techniques to become a good private detective. A certificate from such a training institute would help in getting a job quickly.

Where should I look for a private investigator job? Open the yellow pages or your telephone directory, note down all the telephone numbers of private detective agencies and call them. Search the Internet too.

Alternatively, you can also start a private detective agency of your own with a little help from a senior detective who could be your advisor.

What is the working condition like in a private detective job? A private detective job involves a lot of struggle. You need to work at odd hours and also at strange places. In a lot of cases, you confront hard core criminals also. There is no fixed salary that you get in this job. At first, the payment may be a very meager amount. But with time, you gain name and fame. Then there is no limit to the amount of money you can earn.

This is a career with thrill, adventure and uncertainty. For those who aspire to enjoy life and its mysteries to the fullest, there is no other career that comes closer than this!

A Guide For Crime Investigators

Investigators perform the function of collecting information for a client. The clients of investigators are not usually related to the government. Clients of investigators are mainly private corporate bodies, attorneys as well as people from diverse walks of life.

Now who is a crime investigator? Crime Investigators are those one who try to solve murders, robbery, thefts and such kind of illegal activities. Now crime investigators can be of two types, public and private. A public investigator works in the police department and the private crime investigators work for private individuals or companies. They often have clients who are not satisfied by the investigations made by the police or the legal authorities. Thus they want to catch the real culprit but often do this secretly.

What are the qualifications required to become a crime investigator?
The public crime investigators are highly talented and qualified. They have to pass through a series of tests both physical and mental. Only then, they are eligible to get this job. A policeman with considerable experience and success in his respective field is eligible. In the case of private investigators, people who are experienced opt mostly for this type of job.

What is the working condition like for a crime investigator? Working conditions and working hours of a crime investigator are more difficult than that of other detectives. Crime-related issues may crop up at any time of the day or night, therefore there is no fixed timing. You can spend whole nights searching for a missing or absconding criminal. This job involves a great deal of danger. This means you are required to be physically fit and alert. Most of the time, undercover work is immense. At times, you may have work in the office to make background searches on suspects and criminals.

What pay or salary do the crime investigators get?
The demand for crime investigators is too much but the salary is less. Those in the government can expect a good salary. A private investigator, especially a fresher, has to struggle and fight really hard. With name and fame, this changes and becomes in conformity with what you are worth.

What are the basic things that an investigator should learn to become a private investigator? Here are some helpful tips:

1. Determine how and where to search for information. 2. Collect, analyze and review authenticity of all sources of information. 3. Plan on how to make investigations and interrogations. 4. Take friendly and hostile witnesses or suspects differently.. 5. Prepare reports of all observations. 6. Be aware of basic things such as photography, forensic sciences, fingerprints, use of computers and firearms as well. 7. Adhere to work within the law of the state.

What A California Private Investigator Can Do

A California private investigator is paid to gather facts pertaining to a particular case. Unlike a law enforcement official or a crime-scene operative, a private investigator is hired by a private citizen or business organization. He uses various methods to carry out his task. Moreover, he can also choose a field of specialty to focus on. Due to the nature of his work, a private investigator may work irregular hours everyday when conducting surveillance works and looking for witnesses to question.

There are requirements before a California private investigator is given a license to practice within the state. These requirements may vary from state to state or from one territory to another but generally, all convicted felons are automatically disqualified from receiving a private investigator license. Moreover, private investigators must be at least 18 years of age at the time of license application. A combination of education in police science, criminal law, or criminal justice and three years or 6,000 hours of investigative experience is also required. A licensed California private investigator should also be able to pass the evaluation given by the Federal Department of Justice and the criminal history background check. In addition, a license applicant must also be able to achieve at least a qualifying score in a two-hour written examination on laws and regulations. For private investigators who need to carry firearms while on duty, additional requirements may be asked from them.

There are no specific academic requirements in order to become a California private investigator. However, a 2-year associate program or a 4-year bachelor program in any criminal-justice area will be beneficial to any aspiring private investigator. Moreover, this is also a requirement that most large companies require from the investigators that they hire. A licensed California private investigator is legally allowed to conduct surveillance operations, obtain information related to a crime or case that he may be handling, secure evidence that is admissible in court, locate and recover lost or stolen property, and determine the cause and responsibility in cases of fire, libel, loss, damage and injury.

A California private investigator may focus on a specific niche based on his past working experience or on his expertise. He may opt to become a legal investigator who works for a law firm and defense lawyers. He helps the latter prepare for upcoming court trials, locate vital witnesses, interview police authorities and potential witnesses as well as gather evidences that can be used in court. He may also choose to become a corporate investigator who is tasked by business organizations to conduct internal and external investigations. Another market niche that a California private investigator may choose to focus on is the field of financial investigation. A financial investigator is hired to develop and evaluate the financial profiles of individuals and companies that are prospective parties to million dollar deals and transactions. Other investigators also choose to become store investigators or loss prevention agents. They may sure that theft by shoplifters, vendor representatives, and store employees are prevented. Hotel detectives, on the other hand, make sure that the properties of hotel guests are protected from theft. They also see to it that there is order inside the hotel premises.

Thoughts On An Association Of Private Investigators

Many trades have trades and professions have association in order to further specific causes related to the occupation of the association members. An association of private investigators is no different.

For the longest time, unions and associations for certain professions have been set up in order to promote a shared interest. Being part of an association can enable several small groups to form a single cohesive political force. Associations can help push for benefits for its members, engage in collective bargaining with other parties, organize action in pursuit of a common goal, and lobby state and federal officials in pursuit of a certain agenda. An association of private investigators, if it does things right, will usually be able to do all of these.

These associations can help PIs and PI firms in other ways. These groups can help smaller PIs and PI firms network and potentially help improve their business. Databases can be shared and contacts with equipment suppliers can gained, perhaps helping some private investigative firms save on costs. The associations may hold conventions that will help keep members updated on major developments in their industry. These associations might also be able to help smaller companies get noticed by listing them in directories or handing out referrals. Membership might even provide a chance to interview and hire investigators and other people with skills useful to a member PI firm. There might also be newsletters that keep the PI company updated on happenings relevant to the trade on a regular basis.

An association of private investigators tends to have the goal of advancing the trade and practice of private investigation and often of private security. Also, an association of private investigators tends to be composed of PI firms that tend to have the same focus in investigation. For instance, a particular association of private investigators might be composed only of PI firms that investigate insurance fraud or perhaps all the PIs in a certain association are experts in fraud related to the construction industry. Still, other groups may choose to be more inclusive of all kinds of PIs. Whatever the case, many PIs and PI firms join multiple organizations, though this is not always the case. There is a tendency however, for a PI to join at least one national association of private investigators and at least one state association of the same.

This is the reason why there are so many groups that advocate the trade of private investigation and the welfare of those employed in the industry. There are 17 national associations and almost 60 state associations. Often an association of private investigators will be in direct competition with another association. But in most cases PIs and PI groups can freely join as many organizations as they wish.

Many of the associations have very specific criteria for membership, such as having to be registered in a state or having to specialize in a certain subset of private investigation. Many also require the member to pay certain fees, though this is not a universal practice.

The Word On Private Investigator Insurance

Private investigator insurance could be seen as either one of two things. The first, less common definition of the term is insurance for people working in the field of private investigation. The second, more commonly encountered definition is concerned with insurance claim verification by a private investigation arm.

Private investigator insurance is a subset of private investigation that involves investigating subjects of interest related to insurance matters. Thus private investigator insurance usually involves looking into suspicious insurance claims.

The rising incidences of insurance fraud have made it necessary for private investigator insurance to be practiced. Private investigator insurance is in fact, one of the most lucrative and most practiced subsets of private investigation.

A private investigator who works for an insurance company in order to check for insurance fraud will typically have to be licensed in the jurisdiction where the fraud investigation is to take place. Private investigators have very different levels of acceptance throughout the world. In some countries, it is illegal for anyone to do the kind of work private investigators typically do. In other countries, such as the United States, private investigators are very much in demand due to the culture and the volume of cases of insurance fraud and marital infidelity that usually entice parties to take on private investigator services. In some countries, such as South Africa for example, the services of private investigators, including those who practice investigator insurance are very popular due to a perception that the police cannot handle crime effectively.

Requirements for practicing private investigation will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Indeed, some will have no laws regulating the practice, while many others will be very strict on such matters and the practice may even be illegal in some places. Special schools that teach the required skills are present in many places where the practice sis legal.

Private investigators and the practice of private investigator insurance have in the past, suffered from perceptions of seediness and borderline unethical practices. Hover, in recent years this perception has been eliminated due to better screening of employees in private investigation firms. Private investigators legally working for most firms in the United States whether working directly for a company or as a contractor will typically have a clean criminal record. Modern business practices and improved oversight have also rendered the image of shady private investigators a somewhat outdated one that is not in keeping with the way private investigation and private investigator insurance is practiced throughout the United States today.

The technology needed to conduct investigations has also throughout the years has become quite affordable, and as a result, private investigator insurance is quite easily and cheaply conducted. This has led to more and more insurance companies using private investigators to pursue information on a wider variety of insurance claims.

Many private investigators working for insurance companies in the United States are former law enforcement and military personnel. A good number of them are also former private and government auditors and members of intelligence services. This meeting of specializations has led to some private investigation firms to field very eclectic personnel, while others choose to focus on hiring those with experience relevant to the expressed specialties a firm has.