Questions and answers. Doubt and proof.
These are the elements that drive clients to the private investigation industry. The need to know, however, can run you into dangerous territory unless you pursue information in a fair and ethical way. As in any other field of work, there are private detectives or private investigators that do a good job while respecting the law and others who put ethics aside to make a quick buck. If you are considering hiring a private detective, it is important to find a reputable individual or agency to find the information you need, especially if you intend to submit the findings as part of future legal proceedings.
The work done by private detectives, depicted on television or in ‘whodunit’ mystery novels, bears little resemblance to the real thing. While investigations do pose challenges and can, at times, be dangerous, most private detectives have never been threatened, kidnapped or shot at as popular mystery writers suggest. In fact, much of the work done by private detectives is done in an office, over the telephone or on the internet, which is part of the reason it is vital to have a private detective who will respect information handling standards with regard to access, integrity and privacy.
Private detectives are hired for a wide variety of reasons. As an individual, you might want to hire a private detective to prove your spouse is having an affair; you might be searching for a lost child or relative; or, you might want to follow up on a crime that victimized your family but that the police have had no luck in solving. Businesses such as law firms and insurance companies tend to hire private detectives to gather extra information to either support or disprove a particular case or claim before it reaches the courts, while other businesses might hire an investigator to deal with employee theft or vandalism.