When you are considering using the services of a private investigator, it can be confusing to know what qualities to look for. How do you know that the person you are hiring is legitimate? What are the standards to judge a private investigator to determine if they are skilled and experienced? You may get a referral from a friend or neighbor, but this is no guarantee that you are hiring someone professional. The following are three critical characteristics that any legitimate, high quality private investigator will have.

legitimate private investigator

  1. Legitimate Private Investigators are Licensed
  2. If a PI is serious about their work, they will have a license. At the time of this writing, 45 of the states in the country require a license. In the state of Colorado it is voluntary. The four states that do not require a license are Wyoming, Idaho, South Dakota and Mississippi. Even though Colorado is voluntary, a professional should have a license when operating out of that state. In the state of California, you can search by license number or name at the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services, a division of the Department of Consumer Affairs. Our firm has been licensed since 1984.

  3. The Best PI’s Have Experience
  4. Part of what makes a good private detective is experience. This means that they will have been in business for many years. Those private investigators that are just starting out will usually work for another private investigator with more experience. In this way, they can learn from those who have been working the job for many years. If you come across an investigator that hasn’t been in business for very long, they may or may not be legitimate, but they will seldom be effective. Our company has 31 years of experience behind us, so we know what we are doing.

  5. The Best PI’s Often Have a Relevant Background
  6. Prior to becoming a private investigator, many people will commonly have a background in legal matters or law enforcement. It may be work done as a police officer or detective, or other law enforcement experience in some capacity. The skills in law enforcement carry over quite well. Many of the cases a private investigator deals with involve those with the same mentality of those engaged in criminal behavior. In many situations, an individual may not have committed a crime, but the frame of mind of the individual is much the same as seen by those working in law enforcement.

When you start looking for a PI to hire, take your time to make sure that the individual or firm you plan on using fulfills the three attributes listed above. We have been in business for three decades, are licensed in the state of California, and many of our investigators have experience in law enforcement. Call us today; we can discuss your situation, and explain how our professional private investigators can help you.

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Bruce Robertson

Bruce Robertson is a private investigator and founder of Tristar Investigation, California’s premiere detective agency. Bruce is also a media commentator for the investigation industry, featured in the New York Times, CNN, History Channel, MSNBC, Los Angeles Times and many more. You can find him on Google+ LinkedIn and YouTube.