HOW TO BEGIN - Hiring a Private Investigator

At The Premiere Group, Inc., we work very closely with you every step of the way to ensure that we are meeting your needs and conducting the investigation according to your request.

What Can a Private Investigator Do?
A private investigator can help you find information and people. They can find documentation such as court records, government agencies' filings, vital statistics, property ownerships, vehicle and vessel records, photographs, witness statements, etc. The duties of private detectives and investigators depend upon the needs of the client. Legal investigators specialize in cases involving the courts and are normally employed by law firms or lawyers. They frequently assist in preparing criminal defenses, locating witnesses, serving legal documents, interviewing police and prospective witnesses, and gathering/reviewing evidence. Legal investigators may also collect information on the parties to the litigation, take photographs, testify in court, and assemble evidence and reports for trials.

Do individuals hire investigators? 

Yes, many individual hire private investigators for such things as locating a runaway child or locating a defendant in a lawsuit. Many times we are hired for a domestic family mater involving cheating spouses, past marriage, child whereabouts etc.

Do businesses hire investigators?
Big and small businesses and attorneys hire investigators. Popular activities are undercover investigations, embezzlement, acquisition background check, and record searches.

What Should I Tell My Private Investigator?
In short, everything. The more facts your private investigator has on your case, the easier it will be for him or her to determine the truth in your case. Who, what, when, where, why, and how are crucial; even things you think may be unimportant should be mentioned. Your investigator should also give you ways that he or she intends to go about resolving your case and discuss the pros and cons of each method, this way you will know exactly what to expect. A good investigator should also ask if you're represented by counsel in this case, and if your attorney is aware you're considering hiring a PI. If you have an attorney, your PI's report should go to him and not to you to maintain what is called "work product privilege." And your attorney and your PI should be aware of one another at the very least.

Investigate the investigator!
First, you should make sure that the person or firm is licensed in Maryland or the state in which they operate. Private investigators and private detective agencies in Maryland are licensed by the Maryland State Police. Interview the investigator. Be very clear and tell him/her exactly what you expect. There is so much information available and the needs of each client are so specific to each case that a consultation can be very helpful. There are no standard operating procedures for an investigation. Ask for the following: Has the person had experience with your type of case? How will they handle your investigation? Ask whether or not s/he is insured or bonded. In Maryland, all private investigators are required to be bonded. In addition almost all also carry liability insurance. Opt for an insured investigator over one who is not insured. Ask for references and call them. Ask if a deposit is required and what the fee structure will be. Make sure you have a written contract that you understand. Set a cap on expenses and fees. Set “benchmarks” (previously agreed upon times during which you and the investigator evaluate what has been done and whether it is worth proceeding).

How Much Will a Private Investigator Charge?
The fees of a private investigator range dramatically. Investigators often have a specialty and like most services, you will pay a higher fee for the work of people with more experience and training. Also, a deposit or retainer will be required and will be applied against fees or services rendered as well as expenses. Flat rate assignments can be tailored as well which takes the guesswork out of the cost as it not based by the hour.

The Premiere Group, Inc.
Post Office Box 549
Laurel, MD 20725
(301) 483-6067 or (410) 880-3422

(800) 729-6635 toll free

(301) 483-6069 fax