Frequently Asked Questions
What expectations should I have hiring a private investigator?
Many people have unrealistic expectations of investigators, especially if they are hiring an investigator for the first time. To avoid disappointment and possibly wasting your money, you need to discuss with the investigator what he or she thinks can be accomplished by your investigation and determine any limitations that the investigator may foresee. The investigator will be able to give you an idea if the type of investigation that you are interested in will give you the results you are seeking.
Do I have to meet the Private Investigator in person?
It’s not necessary to meet with a prospective investigator in person. Most decisions can be made over the phone, any contracts or legal forms can be faxed or e-mailed, and payments can be made by credit cards or money transfers.
Should the investigations company be licensed?
Make sure the company you are using has a Texas-issued license and current insurance. This license requires the investigator to have previous experience, and ensures the public that a state agency oversees the company's operations. Private investigators in Texas are required to be licensed by the Private Security Bureau.
What type of personal information should I give the investigator?
No matter how embarrassing it may sound, it is imperative that the investigator know all the facts pertaining to the investigation. Be prepared to provide full personal descriptors, physical descriptions, photos, vehicle information, and other information about the subject. Providing more information up front can save you money and time in the long run.
How important is experience?
Experience is very important because an experienced private investigator knows the local and state laws. Complying with these laws guarantees the integrity of the results. An experienced investigator also knows the most reliable way to obtain the accurate information you need.
How much will it cost?
The average surveillance takes approximately 15 - 20 hours. Some more, some less. Each case has a different time frame and execution strategy. There will be an upfront retainer upon starting the investigation along with an hourly rate and mileage fees. We will discuss your case strategy in details along with all of the exact pertinent required fees during the initial phone consultation.
What should I do while the surveillance is occurring?
Do nothing, act normally. If there's any sudden changes in your behavior it might warn the person that something is wrong and they may stop what they're doing until they feel that its safe to resume. I recommend if possible for the client to leave town or at least go away for a day. If your not able to leave for a while, its a good idea to be as low key as possible with the subject in question. This will keep their guard down and will ultimately help the success of the surveillance.
What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept all major credit cards, checks, money orders, and cash. If you are paying with a credit card, a credit card authorization form will be emailed to you along with a retainer agreement. Once the forms are returned and processed the investigation will begin.
How long will it take to obtain the information that I need?
This is probably the #1 question that is asked by most clients. It is impossible to answer this question until we start the investigation process. In most cases, it takes time for things to materialize so it is difficult to say precisely how long it will take. Once we start the case it will be a lot easier to determine a time frame.