• How To Choose A Private Investigator in Texas

    December 12, 2015 | Blog
  • Choosing the right Private Investigator can make all the difference in obtaining the resolution you want for you case.  A good private investigator can save you far more money than they cost.  It’s important to find an investigator that is the right match for you and your case needs.

    Where to Start:

    Referrals

    Ask local attorneys and insurance companies for who they use.  These professions frequently rely on private investigators.  Also ask local police officers, many excellent private investigators are former or retired law enforcement officers.  The first step is to find some qualified candidates in your area.

    Licensing

    All Private Investigators in Texas must be licensed by the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Private Security Board (PSB).  They are required to list their license on their advertising including their website.  Make sure your Private Investigator’s license is in good standing by checking it here with the Private Security Board’s License Search.  Any reputable PI company and investigator will be licensed without exception.

    Professional Organizations

    Texas Association of Licensed Investigators (TALI) is the main professional organization for PI’s in Texas.  Their member search can be an advantage since it let’s you identify what areas that the member’s specialize in.

    Once you have identified a few candidates.  Pick the best one for you and your case needs.

    Choose between investigators taking into consideration:

    Experience

    Most Private Investigators offer a free initial consultation.  Do not be shy during this meeting.  Ask about their training, investigation experience and specifically their experience with your type of case.  Investigators often specialize in different things.  Some are electronic savants while others excel at covert surveillance.  You will have different needs if you are looking at catching a cheating spouse or looking for analysis of a complex criminal cold case.

    Level of Service

    Ask the potential investigator candidates what they will handle and what they expect you to do yourself.  It is often expected that you will provide a certain amount of information about your case. If you don’t have all that information, make sure the Private Investigator you choose can obtain the rest.  Find out if covert camera systems are to be used who is responsible for deploying and monitoring them.  There was a recent article where some unscrupulous Private Investigators were skirting a law about vehicle tracking by having clients set the trackers that they supplied illegally on vehicles, leaving the client on the hook criminally.

    Rates

    A good investigation is certainly worth it’s weight in gold but there are practical considerations.  Generally choosing the cheapest investigator is not the best strategy.  Choose the best value.  Price will definitely increase with experience but you most often need the experienced investigators.  Even though an experienced investigator’s hourly rate may appear much higher, you may be surprised that your total bill will not be higher.  Experienced investigators are often able to solve cases with many less man hours than a newer, less experienced investigator.

    During this whole process, it’s important that you go with your gut feelings about who is the right Investigator for your needs and your case.  Ask questions of the potential PI’s and don’t hesitate to evaluate the candidate’s customer service and timeliness along the way.