How much for a private investigator: Cost
Hiring a private investigator is not something you do every day, unless you’re a busy attorney. If you’re in a situation where you feel you might have the need to hire a private investigator, the first thing that you think about is the costs of hiring one. A common question is, “How much for a private investigator?”
Well, private investigators vary in costs, and some charge by the hour, others by the job and others require a retainer. The costs vary by:
- Licensing – most states require private investigators to be licensed. In every state that requires licensing there’s a governing body such as the Secretary of State, or the State Police. Unlicensed thieves charge less than those who are licensed because they are operating illegally. You never want to hire an unlicensed private investigator. Always make sure the private investigator you hire has a valid license.
- Experience – it matters how long the private investigator has been in business. The longer they’ve been in business, the more likely they’ve gained enough experience to assist you with the case you’re involved with. Inexperienced private investigators can make mistakes which can greatly impact your case. Inexperienced investigators usually cost less.
- Education – private investigators come from all kinds of backgrounds. Many agencies only hire people with college degrees. Depending on the complexity of your case, you’re going to want to know the background of the investigator you are hiring. If your case involves complex technical issues then you’re going to want to know that the private investigator you’re hiring has technical knowledge or has someone on their staff that does. Technical experience can increase the costs of an investigation.
- Referrals – if the private investigator you are looking to hire did not come as a referral from an attorney, or from someone who has actually used them previously, you should do more research. Try to find a private investigator that has good reviews and a good client list. Then you know your money will be better spent with a well-reviewed private investigator. The number of references a private investigator has should NOT affect how much for a private investigator.
- Reputation – if you’re not sure about the private investigator you’re looking to hire you should be able to call around to a few law firms and ask whether they’ve heard of the private investigator. If you call 10 law firms and none of them have heard of the private investigator, it might be time to look for a new one.
- Knowledge of your case – if you get the feeling that the private investigator you’re talking to isn’t confident talking about your case, or you feel they’re not understanding you, then it’s likely this is going to cost you more in the long run. If the private investigator doesn’t have experience with your case then it’s likely they’ll subcontract your work out to another private investigator and this will drive up your costs.
How much for a private investigator costs varies on a number of factors as you can see above.
If you are looking for an affordable licensed private investigator, with 20 years of experience assisting individuals, attorneys and corporations feel free to contact us here. You can also view a portion of our extensive client list here, and see what actual clients say about us here.