How to Hire a Private Investigator
Did you know there are over 7,000 licensed private investigators in Florida? With so many options, it can be difficult to know how to hire a private investigator to meet your needs. Crossroads Investigations offers the following tips to help:
Licensing: The most important item to check is licensing – the private investigation industry is heavily regulated in Florida. Similar to real estate, a private investigator has to have a personal “C” license (which can be checked here: https://licensing.freshfromflorida.com/access/individual.aspx) and be officially attached to an “A” licensed agency (which can be checked here: https://licensing.freshfromflorida.com/access/agency.aspx).
It is not an easy process to become a licensed private investigator in Florida. You need either prior law enforcement experience or a two-year full-time internship, as well as having to pass an exam known to be amongst the most challenging in the country. A criminal background check with fingerprinting is also required.
Board Accreditations: You should ask the private investigator if they have any special credentials or accreditations. For example:
The Florida Association of Licensed Investigators (FALI) offers a Florida Board Certified Investigator program – there are only 53 in Florida!
The International Intelligence Network has a Board Accredited Investigator Program – there are only 50 members nation-wide!
Members of the exclusive Council of International Investigators are Certified International Investigators – there are only around 400 worldwide!
(Our President Marc Hurwitz holds all three prestigious certifications!)
Experience: Ask the private investigator how many years of experience they have in this industry, as well as what previous experience they have had, hopefully they have law enforcement or other government backgrounds.
Reputation: Ask around! How are their online reviews? If you’re a lawyer, check with your local bar association or other attorney networking groups. For example, in South Florida, The Florida Lawyer’s Network is quite popular. Does the private investigator have testimonials on their website, and who are they from?
Professional Organization Membership: Ask the investigator if they belong to their state’s professional investigator association. Doing so reflects they take their profession seriously and are a known commodity in the industry.
Insurance: Ask your investigator if they have professional insurance. This also reflects the level of seriousness the investigator takes the industry.
Choosing the right private investigator can be critical to finding the missing information you need for your lawsuit, business or personal matter. We hope that the suggestions offered above will help you vet your investigator candidates!