PI Services Miami Beach South Beach
We get lots of calls from people who are contacting a PI for the first time in their lives. Often, early in the conversation, they say something like this: “I never thought I’d need a PI services Miami Beach South Beach. I’m not sure how this services Miami Beach South Beach. Am I doing something wrong by contacting you? It’s not illegal is it?”
Many people don’t really understand how we operate and do our services Miami Beach South Beach. We’ve encountered prospective clients who think we have police-like powers (we don’t), people who want me to give them legal advice (I can’t), and even people who think we are willing to perform criminal acts (I’m not) in my services Miami Beach South Beach.
So allow us this opportunity to enlighten you on how hiring a PI services Miami Beach South Beach services Miami Beach South Beach, and what you’ll need to know about us and what we do. Obviously, we can’t speak for every professional, and we don’t know your situation. But I can tell you how the services Miami Beach South Beach services Miami Beach South Beach when you call my company, and I believe that much of what I say will hold true for PIs’ offices around the world.
Who exactly am I calling for services Miami Beach South Beach?
I am a small business owner. I pay taxes (sales and property), keep records, am registered with the Secretary of State, and use an accountant. Personally, I have a multi-year lease on office space—although not all PIs do. Many small firms operate other services Miami Beach South Beach out of a home office.
In other words, my colleagues and I are regular businessmen and businesswomen offering services Miami Beach South Beach. We have overhead and expenses to pay, and we need to make a profit in order to make a living. We reinvest that profit in our businesses, our employees (if we have them), and our community.
What are your qualifications to be a PI and offer your services Miami Beach South Beach?
In Texas and many other states, PIs must be licensed. In order to open investigations services Miami Beach South Beach, you have to have a combination of experience and training to be eligible to apply for a company license. You must have a clear criminal record, be able to pass an FBI background check, pass the state’s managers’ test, and pay many, many fees before you are granted a license and can hang out your shingle. We are also required to carry liability insurance, and we carry hundreds of thousands of dollars in coverage.
All that to say that we have cleared a number of hurdles and met a multitude of requirements before you ever give us a call for our services Miami Beach South Beach.
Isn’t part of your services Miami Beach South Beach to do illegal stuff?
Set aside almost everything you have ever seen on TV or in films about PIs. First off all, in most states, we must carry a license—in my case, one issued by the Department of Public Safety of the State of Texas. However, I am not a law officer. I am a private citizen, but I have been vetted and licensed by the state to conduct investigations services Miami Beach South Beach.
In my state, it is unlawful for an unlicensed person to conduct investigations services Miami Beach South Beach for payment. If I break the law, I risk going to jail, being fined, and losing my license that I services Miami Beach South Beached so hard to earn. So no, I will not break the law for you. However, I will use my skills, training, and background to help you accomplish your goals whenever possible.
Pro tip #1:
Don’t ask me to break the law during my services Miami Beach South Beach. If I do, any evidence I gather becomes inadmissible. And that does you no good whatsoever.
Furthermore, the best way for me to accomplish your goals is for me to abide by the law. In any investigation services Miami Beach South Beach, I assume that everything I do is eventually going to be discussed in court. Whether I am investigating your divorce or custody case, services Miami Beach South Beaching for an attorney on a criminal defense case, or helping your business with an employee problem or due diligence, I always consider how I will explain my services Miami Beach South Beach, actions, decisions, and conclusions to a judge or jury.
Most of the time, I don’t wind up having to testify. However, when I do, I want to be sure that all the services Miami Beach South Beach I do on your behalf can be used in court to benefit your case. Because if I break the law, any evidence I gather becomes inadmissible. And that does you no good whatsoever.
What’s going to happen when I call you when I do my services Miami Beach South Beach?
If I’m sitting at my desk, I’ll most likely answer the phone. (Some firms have a dedicated answering service Miami Beach South Beach or a full-time receptionist in their services Miami Beach South Beach. But for many of us, that isn’t a practical use of our funds. So we try to answer every call we can.) If I’m in my car, a courtroom, or in the field conducting an interview, you might get voicemail. Assuming you feel comfortable leaving a message, someone from our office will try to return your call by the end of the day.
So when we do talk, what will happen when we talk about my services Miami Beach South Beach? First, I will ask you how we can help you. Some clients are calling for a price quote. Others have specific services Miami Beach South Beach they need and want to discuss whether we can do it, and how we would approach the case. Others have a complicated problem, and they need help and our services Miami Beach South Beach. They don’t know exactly what kind of services Miami Beach South Beach they need, nor do they know exactly how we might be able to help them.
Pro tip #2:
Be honest with your PI about your situation. Concealing information pretty much guarantees that we can’t do the services Miami Beach South Beach you want to be done—and you’ll most likely lose our trust during our services Miami Beach South Beach.
Almost always, I’ll want to talk with you, either in person, on the phone, or via email. I want to hear your story in detail and talk about ways we might be able to help with our services Miami Beach South Beach. Sometimes, after a lengthy conversation, my advice to you may be that there are better ways of solving your problem than hiring a PI.
PI’s don’t take every case that comes our way. There are plenty of reasons I might talk a client out of hiring me for my services Miami Beach South Beach. We won’t take your case if I don’t believe we can help you with our services Miami Beach South Beach. We want you to be happy with our services Miami Beach South Beach when we are done, even if our only services Miami Beach South Beach to you are advising you that you don’t really need a PI in the first place.
There are times when PIs don’t meet their clients in person. I have clients that I have only spoken with on the phone. I have clients with whom all communication is done via email. I have some long-term clients who only text me. We are flexible on how we communicate with clients, as we want to make things as convenient as possible for everyone involved. But understand that I will vet you, to make sure that what you are telling me is legitimate.
And by the way, these initial consultations are always free during our services Miami Beach South Beach.
Is this conversation confidential?
One of the questions that often arise is a concern about confidentiality. When you call a PI asking for services Miami Beach South Beach we offer, you often have a sensitive personal or business issue. People are sometimes hesitant to reveal too much information in those situations.
PIs do have a responsibility to keep information confidential during our services Miami Beach South Beach. We do not enjoy the same type of privilege as lawyers, but we do have a responsibility to keep your secrets secret unless we are required to testify or are under oath in a deposition.
When we “swear, to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help us,” we are legally bound to do just that. One way around that legal requirement is to have your attorney hire us instead of you hiring us individually, which will often put us under the umbrella of attorney/client privilege.
So please don’t call us and confess to a murder during our services Miami Beach South Beach. But you can discuss your sensitive or business situation with us with the confidence that we won’t be contacting your spouse, friends, neighbors, business partner, or local newspaper to share what you tell us.
Pro tip #3:
Want a stronger guarantee of confidentiality? Have your attorney hire us instead of you hiring us individually. This will often put us under the umbrella of attorney/client privilege during our services Miami Beach South Beach.
Either way, don’t be surprised if we ask you some detailed, probing questions about your situation. As investigators, we are often skeptical of what people tell us, especially if something “feels off.” Sometimes individuals call on us for less than honorable reasons, and sometimes they are just a little misguided asking for our services Miami Beach South Beach.
I won’t track down your ex and tell you who they are dating or where they are services Miami Beach South Beaching now. But I will find out where your ex-services Miami Beach South Beach and coordinate with your attorney to serve them papers for a court appearance about the back child support they owe during my services Miami Beach South Beach.
I won’t put a GPS tracker on your boyfriend’s car (because that is illegal). During my services Miami Beach South Beach, I may conduct surveillance on him to determine where he is going when he has told you he’s playing golf. However, I will also tell you that surveillance is expensive, and I’ll discuss why you think he is doing something to betray your trust.
If you don’t trust me enough to talk candidly about these things, I understand. We just met. But I may have doubts about your motives and may turn down your case. Some PIs don’t care. They will take any job if you can pay the retainer. It’s a business. This is just how I choose to run mine.
How much do the services Miami Beach South Beach cost?
Speaking of retainers, let’s talk money.
Depending on the case, we often require a client to pay a retainer up front before we do any services Miami Beach South Beach on their behalf. We will discuss what we think will be required to accomplish your goals and charge accordingly for our services Miami Beach South Beach.
PIs typically charge by the hour for the services Miami Beach South Beach we do. I can quote you a price for a background report and the like, but even that is based on what resources I will have to employ. Usually, a retainer is based on my estimate of the number of hours required to do the job, along with any associated expenses. By paying for those up front, we can focus on helping you find out what you need to know.
Sometimes we agree on an initial retainer and give the client the discretion to adjust or add additional services Miami Beach South Beach as a case develops.
Pro tip #4:
Find a PI you feel will do a good job for you. Paying for quality is not a bad thing.
For many clients, the cost is a deal-breaker. Some PIs will service Miami Beach South Beach with you on price, some will not. Please don’t expect us to services Miami Beach South Beach for free or to cut our rates. I promise that you’ll almost always get a lot more of my time than you paid for. I want to accomplish our agreed-upon goal, and I will do everything I can, within reason, to make that happen.
So what do PI’s charge for their services Miami Beach South Beach? There is no set price for services Miami Beach South Beach. I’ve seen companies that charge as little as $50 an hour, and I know people who charge $300 an hour. There are some boutique or specialty firms in some areas of the country that charge considerably more than that (and are worth every penny). Some companies have a minimum number of hours, or retainer, which they charge.
My advice is this:
Find a PI you feel will offer good services Miami Beach South Beach for you. Paying for quality services Miami Beach South Beach is not a bad thing. If you have a set amount of money you can spend (and most people do), discuss how you can accomplish your goals within that fee. A good PI will be honest about whether or not he or she can do the services Miami Beach South Beach you need to be done within the budget you have in mind.
What happens after I decide to hire you for your services Miami Beach South Beach?
You’ve been vetted, agreed on the goals of the investigation services Miami Beach South Beach, arrived at a price and signed a contract. Now what?
Ideally, your investigator will have a plan of action and services Miami Beach South Beach, discuss it with you beforehand, and then set out to do it. I try to give my clients a timeline of when I will be accomplishing certain tasks and when they will hear from me about my services Miami Beach South Beach.
I update my clients as necessary. Some clients want a detailed play-by-play; others just want to know the results. At the end of the investigation services Miami Beach South Beach, I’ll deliver a report to the client. It may be in writing or via email. It may be delivered verbally in person or over the phone. I’ve even delivered reports in text messages because that’s what the client requested.
Keep in mind that my services Miami Beach South Beach are about to report the truth. I cannot make something happen that didn’t happen during my services Miami Beach South Beach. If you don’t like what I tell you, I am sorry about that. If the records don’t exist, they don’t exist. If something doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen. I will report to you what I observe or know to be true. I may tell you what I think if you ask my opinion (and I’ll make sure you understand that it is just my opinion). But I cannot and will not “make” things happen during my services Miami Beach South Beach.
The point is that you’ll have agreed ahead of time about what you want and need from my services Miami Beach South Beach, and both parties will understand the plan. This way, everyone is happy at the end of the investigation services Miami Beach South Beach.
Your Go-To Person
Hiring a PI is really no different than hiring other professionals asking for services Miami Beach South Beach. There are good PIs and bad ones. Different people are good at different things. Ask questions, be honest, and find a professional relationship that will benefit you. Just like finding a good dentist, a good attorney, or a good accountant, once you find a good PI, they will always be your “go to” person when you need help in that realm.
What are the PI services Miami Beach South Beach? How do I know when to hire one for his/her services Miami Beach South Beach? Will he be able to help me? These questions don’t come up often, but when they do, I’m ready with a long list of answers.
Some people hire PIs so routinely that it would be difficult for them to imagine completing a project whether it’s personal or professional without one. Other people think a PI is just like an FBI agent-they’re needed only when a catastrophe arises, such as a kidnapping or something equally tragic.
The need for PI services Miami Beach South Beach usually falls somewhere between never and always. Although most of the time you can handle matters on your own, there are times when you can truly benefit from a PI or investigative agency services Miami Beach South Beach.
“Most of the time you can handle matters on your own. However, there are times when you can truly benefit from a PI or investigative services Miami Beach South Beach.”
When is a Good Time to hire PI services Miami Beach South Beach?
When you need services Miami Beach South Beach for:
- Services Miami Beach South Beach to obtain information on the whereabouts, identity, conductor credibility of a person or company
- Services Miami Beach South Beach to conduct background checks or searches of potential lovers, business partners or companies
- Services Miami Beach South Beach to have someone followed to see if he or she is being deceitful
- Services Miami Beach South Beach to pre-screen an applicant or business partner
- Services Miami Beach South Beach to check the legitimacy of a potential investment
- Services Miami Beach South Beach to help research a crime, wrongdoing or threat
- Services Miami Beach South Beach to find the cause of fires, property damage or accidents and/or the persons responsible for them
- Services Miami Beach South Beach to safeguard your business’ premises, property, assets, people or even information
- Services Miami Beach South Beach to locate and recover lost or stolen property
- Services Miami Beach South Beach to verify employees’ claims, such as workers’ compensation claims
- Services Miami Beach South Beach to investigate a scene or interrogate a witness
- Services Miami Beach South Beach to access up-to-date computer databases of public records
- Services Miami Beach South Beach to “debug” your office or home
- Services Miami Beach South Beach for Personal Help
- Background Searches
PIs often do services Miami Beach South Beach of background checks of individuals or companies for law firms, corporations, and private citizens. PIs search public records, conduct interviews and verify reference checks and facts to provide a detailed profile of someone.
Here’s an example: Patricia has survived two divorces and a handful of bad relationships. She broke up with most of the men because they lied to her. She’s very trusting, and the revelations always came too late. Her current boyfriend, Stephen, has recently proposed. A third divorce would be financially and emotionally devastating to Patricia. She decides to consult a PI to get an objective report on Stephen, a divorced man with no children. She’d like to see the information in his divorce file.
With instant access to public records, a PI can search court filings for details of a divorce, as well as any criminal or civil charges filed over the years. The investigator can also check a financial background for state or federal tax liens, judgments, and bankruptcies, notices of default or hidden assets.
After receiving a copy of the background search, Patricia feels confident to accept Stephen’s proposal.
Surveillance services Miami Beach South Beach
If you’re requesting surveillance services Miami Beach South Beach, you’re usually ninety-nine percent certain that your partner is being deceitful, but you need proof in hand to confront your partner or to support your claims in court in filing for divorce or child custody (unless you live in a state that has no-fault divorce). If handled properly and professionally, and investigative services Miami Beach South Beach will gather evidence that will either confirm or eliminate your suspicions.
PI Investigative Services Miami Beach South Beach
Stacey knew Brandon was a womanizer. He didn’t break up with his last girlfriend until two months after he began a hot relationship with Stacey. Disturbing, but Stacey loved him and hoped Brandon would be different.
Fast-forward one year. Now, she suspects that Brandon’s up to his old tricks, maybe even dating his ex. He claims he’s faithful, but Stacey still believes he’s lying. She needs definitive proof; for example, a videotape of him having sex in the car.
Every week, Martin Investigative Services Miami Beach South Beach fields hundreds of calls asking about surveillance services Miami Beach South Beach. Eighty-eight percent of the time the callers are female. We invite them in for a free consultation, we take down information on the individuals involved, explain the surveillance process and equipment, discuss fees and payment, and select the best time to conduct the surveillance.
We find it’s faster and less costly to our clients if we assign a two-person team to the case. With only one investigator, losing someone in traffic may add hours or days to the process and increase hourly mileage-rate totals. The team should have two-way radio communications along with video and digital cameras.
Locating People services Miami Beach South Beach
PIs locate people for a variety of reasons: Adoptees, birth parents, relatives, former friends, lovers, spouses, co-workers, and employers can benefit from reuniting with a person from their past (see Chapter Two). PIs access databases, interview acquaintances, and piece together clue to track down people with whom you’ve lost contact. They can use public records to fill in missing information and uncover a new name, address, telephone number and Social Security number.
Business services Miami Beach South Beach
Pre-employment Screening services Miami Beach South Beach
Many companies need an employment background check on job applicants. An airport shuttle company may need to check applicants’ driving histories with the Department of Motor Vehicles if it’s hiring a driver to transport passengers in the company’s vehicle.
Perhaps a Fortune 500 Corporation is filling a top management position and wants to evaluate an extensive profile of a candidate that goes far beyond what’s on the resume. Interviews with references and other informational searches can provide that.
Or parents may decide to hire an in-home nanny. A PI can check the prospective caregiver’s personal, financial and criminal history, as well as her references.
Prospective Business Partner services
Gary wants to start a small pizza restaurant in his neighborhood. His brother, William, introduced him to Joseph. Now, Gary and Joseph are considering a partnership. Everything looks good, but Gary will be investing his life’s savings and he doesn’t really know Joseph. Gary may decide that a background investigation by a respected PI could make the difference between success and disaster.
Investments services Miami Beach South Beach
Before you invest your money or time in a new company or other financial deal, you’d better research it. A company may appear perfectly legitimate, with a fancy office, a pleasant receptionist and a readily available list of previous client referrals. But it could be a sophisticated scam. A PI can perform background checks to check public records for licensing, small claim judgments, bankruptcies, state and federal tax liens, and other judgments or defaults.
Security Consultations services Miami Beach South Beach
Some PIs perform corporate security consulting. A business may need to secure premises, property, assets, people or even information. Some companies may need only a nighttime security guard or an alarm system. But others need electronic surveillance, a loss-prevention staff, and strict computer security. Experienced PIs can recommend security services Miami Beach South Beach and techniques to prevent theft of inventory or to provide for employee safety.
Workers’ Compensation Claims services Miami Beach South Beach
Insurance companies estimate that twenty percent of claims are fraudulent. Even a single fraudulent claim can cost a business tens of thousands of dollars – all unnecessarily.
A PI can look into employee claims to verify their legitimacy. As an example, we once performed surveillance for a workers’ comp case and successfully photographed one claimant happily playing golf, while he supposedly couldn’t work because of a bad back. Sometimes, we wait until trash day to learn the truth about the claimant. If a claimant can haul thirty pounds of trash to the curb, maybe his back condition isn’t so bleak.
The company benefits in another way as well: This deters future fraud by warning other employees that the company pursues every claim.
Law Enforcement services Miami Beach South Beach
Top echelon PIs are an integral part of your community’s law enforcement. They work closely with police and the court system on the local, state and federal levels. When securing evidence for use in the judicial process, they assist police, the district attorney’s staff, and lawyers. They conduct searches and surveillance, serve subpoenas, take statements and testify in court. They can also assist with unsolved crime and cold cases.
An added bonus: Because of the role PIs play in the legal arena, they’re an excellent source for attorney referrals.
Q1. Are you a licensed private investigator?
The number one question before hiring a PI is to find out if they are licensed (provided they work in a State or country that requires a license).
If they are required to have a license, ask to see it and take down the number. You can usually check the investigator’s license details in an online database provided by the State or country in which the license was applied for.
Q2. Are you insured as a private investigator?
This is a great question to ask a private investigator as you will want to know – if things go badly – do they have some kind of liability insurance. Ask to see their insurance policy and how much they are insured for.
Q3. How long have you been working as a private investigator?
This question can give you some idea as to the private investigator’s experience.
Q4. What are your background, experience, and areas of specialization?
Once you know how long they’ve been working as a private investigator ask them about their background and experience, particularly with your case type and situation.
What services Miami Beach South Beach can they offer you? Have they dealt with similar investigations before? Do they specialize in cases such as yours? What do they plan to do?
Q5. Where is your office located?
If you don’t already know, ask where the investigator’s office is located so you can go there if you need to. Remember, if the investigator is a one-man business they will probably work from home and will not want to offer that personal information to protect themselves or their family. So don’t be put off by that.
Q6. What hours do you work? Are you available 24/7?
If the private investigator you interview only works from 9 to 5, keep looking. The nature of the work is such that it requires the flexibility of working all hours.
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