PI Hiring Faqs - Private Detective


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The first set of questions without hyperlinks are answered here on this page.

What or who is a Private Investigator?
Can I hire a private detective legally?
What is the difference between a police investigator and a private investigator?
Is my case with a Private Investigator confidential?
Can anyone be a Private Investigator?
Can a Private Investigator or Detective conduct surveillance on anyone and is it legal?
Would you recommend a "regular person" try to do a surveillance on their own?
When should I consider requesting a background check from a Private Detective?
Can you report someone for hiring an investigator?
Do private and police investigators work together?
Do private investigators have to work with police?
Can city police hire private investigators?
Can police hire citizens to do surveillance?
If a spouse is cheating does it help your divorce case?

Does economic misconduct affect a divorce in California?
Do lawyers use private detectives?
Do private investigators help police?
Can a police officer also be a Private Investigator in California?
Do private investigators share evidence with police?
Do private investigators report to the police or tell police they're in the area?
Can a private investigator arrest someone?
Can a private investigator call the police?
Do detectives believe someone charged with a crime when they name or accuse other people?
If you hire a private detective what are the limits on investigations?
What are some interesting facts about private detectives?
Is a private investigator bound by the same confidentiality as an attorney?
Should I hire private investigator for an insurance claim?
Can insurance investigators ask for police report?
Do I have to speak to private investigator in an insurance claim?
Can a private investigator handle a DUI?
Can I hire a Private Investigator for my brothers killing?
What are the different facets of private investigation?
What to expect from a private eye?
Who are the people who hire detectives?
Where does the last name Zatarain come from?

What or who is a Private Investigator?

According to Wikipedia a private investigator or private detective (often shortened to PI or private eye) is a person who can be hired by individuals or groups to undertake investigatory law services. Private detectives/investigators often work for attorneys in civil cases, yet still undertake many aspects of criminal matters. Many work for insurance companies to investigate suspicious claims. Many private investigators are former law enforcement officers or worked as an investigator for a police department, county sheriff or other government agency. As such they have a wide range of experience to draw from for their clients.

Can I hire a private detective legally?

Sure, why not. Anyone can.

What is the difference between a police investigator and a private investigator?

A police investigation is conducted by sworn law enforcement officers and is done within the constraints of Constitutional laws. The investigation is conducted to determine if a crime has been committed, to determine who committed the crime, and to gather enough evidence to present to a prosecutor for a trial.

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A private investigation is conducted by a professional investigator who is in all other aspects, a private citizen. Being a private investigator, several of the constraints of the Constitution do not apply (such as a Miranda warning before giving a statement). Private investigators are not restricted to criminal investigations. PIs work for clients who may request any manner of work, including infidelity investigations, background investigations, asset location investigations, or fraudulent insurance claims. PIs may uncover criminal violations, but are not bound by law to report them to law enforcement. PIs work at the behest of their clients.

In many cases private investigators are able to do much more for a client because they are not subject to governmental or department budget restraints or internal agency politics. Further, a private investigator or detective is able to work more quietly on sensitive issues without releasing embarrassing details to the public thereby protecting the privacy of the client..

Is my case with a Private Investigator confidential?

Yes, a private detective or investigator will always handle your case with as much confidentiality as possible. A good PI treats your case exactly the same as a doctor or attorney would. All information you share is private, confidential and privileged.

Can anyone be a Private Investigator?

No. In California, in order to become a private investigator you must have a minimum of 6000 hours of investigative experience just to take the PI test. The State of California requires all private detectives, private investigators, private security persons and detective agencies to be licensed and insured. Some private detectives may carry a firearm or other dangerous weapons if authorized and qualified to use such weapons. Armando Zatarain is licensed by the State of California as a private investigator (PI#22864) and is also licensed to carry a concealed weapon.

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