Law Enforcement

5 Things To Look For When Hiring A Private Investigator

There could be many reasons why you’d need to hire a private investigator. Some of you might need to track down a person from your past, some of you might need surveillance on a cheating spouse, and some of you might have a totally different reason for it.

But the general consensus is that you don’t hire the first person that you see on Facebook. There are rules as to how it’s done and you don’t want to be making a mistake of spending your money needlessly on a private investigator that doesn’t know how to do their job.

Because of that, we are here to make the hiring decision that much easier by giving you the 5 things to look for when hiring a private investigator.

So, without further ado, let’s begin.

1. Verify That They Are Licensed Professional

Source: spitalaw.com

Many of you don’t know this but a private investigator without a license isn’t the person you should be hiring. It’s even considered by state law that this individual must have a license to practice their trade.

So whenever you find a person that interests you and you are thinking about hiring them, always ask to see their license. You can even check with your state’s licensing agency to verify if this professional is licensed to practice their trade.

But there is more to it than simply look at a piece of paper and saying “yes”. Each of these licenses has an expiration date, so you should always check for that as well.

Each state also has its own Association for private investigators. It might also work in your favor to check in with the Association and verify that the person you’re thinking of hiring is a member or if they’re a licensed practitioner.

2. Check For Insurance

Source: irmi.com

While it’s rarely the case that the private investigator can get somehow injured during the investigation, it is still something that you want to ask before making the hiring decision.

There are many reasons why a private investigator would need insurance. Most of them have to do with their own safety, while others are directly related to someone else’s safety or someone else’s property.

If either of these three things happens while the person is on the case, then it might backfire on you and you could be directly liable for damages.

That’s why it’s always advised that you ask the investigator for proof that he has liability insurance, is bonded, and has any other types of insurance.

3. Check For References

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Checking for references will only tell you whether or not past customers have been satisfied with the particular person. This should be something you do whenever hiring any type of person for any type of job, but it is especially important in this line of business.

Since you cannot be completely sure about how good this person is at their job, a good way to find that out is by asking for references that vouch for their reputation and detective performance.

Some private investigators, like RCI-Process, offer a huge range of services that stand beyond the simple detective work. The more experience a PI has, then the better they’ll be at their job.

4. Ask For A Resume Of Their Work History

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If you’re still unsure about whether or not to hire a particular investigator, then a good way to fully cement your thoughts is to ask for a resume of their complete work history. PI’s tend to keep their work history available for other potential clients to see as references.

This means that you will know the outcome of every case since you’ll be reading client reports, success stories, or newspaper articles. In addition to that, you should invest a great deal of effort into finding a person’s applicable experience for your personal situation.

Depending on the reasons why you’ll need a PI, you should uncover whether the person has any military, law enforcement, or crime scene experience.

It is completely normal for a person not to have any experience of this type, and these PI’s generally deal in fields such as insurance investigations, electronic investigations, skip tracing, corporative investigation, or court process servings.

The field of PI is very large and very diverse. A PI doesn’t necessarily have to be a person that can find a missing person for you. Sometimes, these people focus on uncovering insurance fraud and even domestic violence.

5. Discuss The Pricing And Fees

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If you think that hiring a PI will cost you nothing, then you are greatly mistaken. A private investigator will cost you money, and that a lot of it. The amount depends on the particular investigator and the type of investigation needed.

Some will charge more whilst others will charge less, but the bottom line is that you always discuss the pricing and fees prior to hiring. If you’re satisfied with this particular person’s work history, experience, and professionalism, then the first thing you will agree upon is the type of pricing.

This can be an hourly rate or a flat fee. You could agree upon a retainer and you will probably agree on additional fees that might occur throughout the investigation.

Since every investigator is different from the rest, determining how much it will cost you is easier said than done. This is why it is advisable that you ask around and see what other people or friends have paid in the past.

This will give you a general idea as to what you should prepare financially. It also gives you some space to do some bargaining with him.

When discussing the pricing and fees, you should define your goals. You should define the services you wish to perform from the private investigator. It is absolutely important for both of you to be on the same page and completely understand each other before they start the investigative process.

Be prepared for a thing called a “no-hit fee”, which means that you still pay the PI when conducting a search even if they don’t find any results or don’t find the person you are looking for.

Facing a DUI Charge? Why Hiring a Lawyer Makes Sense

For the most part, you’re the type of person who chooses to understand the traffic laws and abide by them. Even so, there are times when you’re tempted to do something that’s not in your best interests. Recently, that led to an allegation of driving under the influence. Rather than trying to deal with the charge on your own, it makes sense to seek out a lawyer who can provide counsel and work with you to deal with the cost. Here are some examples of how the lawyer can help.

Explaining the Current Laws Related to Driving Under the Influence

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How much do you know about the laws that apply to your case? If you’re like most people, you have no more than a rudimentary understanding of those laws. Even research online will only provide so much additional information. The only way to truly delve into current laws about driving under the influence or impaired driving is to talk with a lawyer.

There are provisions of law that the lawyer will mention. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms, a part of the Constitution that includes information related to driving under the influence and impaired driving, is primarily what the lawyer will go over with you. This will be important as the lawyer begins to investigate the circumstances surrounding the arrest.

Your lawyer will point out specifics that apply in your case. That includes some ideas on what has occurred with similar cases in the past. One or more of those legal precedents may be especially helpful. In this way, you will begin to grasp what could happen if the court decides to convict you.

Going Over the Options for Your Defense

You can rest assured that DUI lawyers such as Mass Tsang, will tirelessly work to win your case or to ensure the lowest possible penalty. That means mounting a defense that’s designed to protect your rights from beginning to end.

Since there may be more than one possible way to pursue that defense, expect your lawyer to go over the potential associated with each strategy. You’ll get an idea of how each approach could turn out. That includes what might happen if you go with a particular procedure, and the court still finds that you’re guilty.

This is important since you need to understand the possible ramifications of each approach. The lawyer will point out the potential benefits, but also the worst-case scenarios associated with each one. This equips you with the information needed to determine which direction the defense should move.

Exploring the Actions of Law Enforcement

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Part of the preliminary work that the lawyer will perform is assessing the actions of law enforcement as it relates to your case. That includes what occurred from the time the officers first approached you to be released on bond at the police station. If there is any indication that one or more officers infringed on your rights or failed to follow the procedures required by law, that may be grounds to have the entire matter dismissed.

There are specific protocols that the police are required to follow. The moment that they approach you after believing they have reasonable cause to assume that you’ve been drinking or ingesting any substance in the last three hours, their actions must be in line with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. If they fail to do any of the following, your legal counsel may have grounds to fight the case.

The authorities are required to state that they are approaching you for suspicion of a possible roadside offense, but they are not necessary to say what type of offense. In cases of this nature, they will first administer what’s known as a Standardized Field Sobriety Test. This is composed of simple tests like walking a straight line or standing on one leg. If you pass this test, they may also ask you to take a breathalyzer test. This can provide an accurate reading of that amount of booze in your blood. They may also take a blood sample.

What you need to remember is that while the officer may phrase these tests as if they are asking for your cooperation, current laws in the GTA don’t require them to obtain your permission. You are required by law to comply. If you refuse, the officer has the right to arrest you. The result is likely to be a fine and possibly a one-year suspension of your driving privileges. If there’s a prior offense on your record, you could face a year in jail for noncompliance.

Image source: duilawfirmdenver.com

Once the tests are done, the officer will inform you if you passed or failed. If your blood booze level is near the legal limit, you’re likely to receive a warning if you’ve been cooperative up to this point. Those who are over the legal limit will be placed under arrest.

The officer will state that you are being arrested for a specific offense and advise you of your Charter of Rights, including the right to say nothing at this point – your right to speak with a lawyer or to seek legal aid. The nature of secondary police precautions that will be taken as you are transported to the police station. After the office is finished, you now have the right to contact your legal counsel or arrange for legal representation.

Remember that your right to say nothing remains intact while you wait for your legal counsel to arrive at the station. If any attempts are made to obtain additional information about your actions before or during the arrest are made, you have to say that you do not discuss the events until you consult with your legal counsel.

Seeking the Best Possible Outcome

Throughout the process, your legal counsel will work within the limits of the law to secure the best possible outcome for your case. That could mean amending the defense strategy if some new evidence comes to light, such as a witness who saw what transpired and comes forward to provide an account. It could also mean seeking to provide the court with reasons to grant some degree of leniency based on the fact that this is the first offense.

Remember that the lawyer cannot guarantee the outcome. What the lawyer will pledge is to provide you with legal counsel designed to help you through this current issue. Make the most of that pledge and cooperate in every way you can. Doing so will make it easier to work toward an outcome that is in your best interests.

Law Enforcement and Technology – the pros and cons

As technology continues to develop almost daily, law enforcement agencies are looking for ways to keep up with it. The agencies are investing money into the best and latest technologies in order to better protect and serve their officers and people in their communities. Of course, battling criminal activity has its own pros and cons. It is important for both the community and police officer to be aware of the technology that is being used and their rights. In this article, you will be able to see the most common advantages, as well as the disadvantages when it comes to implementing technology into law enforcement.

The Pros of Tech in Law Enforcement

1. An additional layer of protection for police officers and the community
source: wosu.org

Body cameras have been a perfect addition for most law enforcement agencies across the globe. While there are some disadvantages of this technology that police officers need to be aware of, the cameras did already prove to be useful in various cases. This tech helped the public see and understand how police officers respond to certain threats. Another perk that policemen use every day is GPS systems. They allow them to monitor and track which can be quite helpful if a policeman is in a situation where she or he cannot be reached or is unable to call for help.

2. Help with identifying and finding criminals
source: centpourcent-nancy.fr

Facial recognition algorithms are giving policemen a new tool for identifying suspects in criminal cases. According to the experts from William Ives Consulting, these algorithms can be used in two ways. Any photo, video, or sketch can be compared to the database of known criminals. DMV’s database can be used in the same way.

All in all, technology in law enforcement did create a lot of benefits that are allowing different departments to solve crimes, identify criminal suspects, and track the suspects down. However, there are some disadvantages of implementing technology within the law enforcement and it is important to be aware of the cons

The Cons of Tech in Law Enforcement

Basically, everything has a downside to it, and here are some cons of technology in law enforcement agencies:

1. More distractions for police officers
source: nj.com

You might have noticed that in a police car there might be some technology in the seat next to them, or perhaps at the backseat. Within almost every car, there is a laptop that has a built-in dispatch system. While this is helpful in most situations when a call comes through the laptop, the police officer might be driving and the calls might distract them. Hence, there is a higher possibility of an accident happening.

2. Privacy concern for citizens and police officers

Another con that might not be considered when implementing tech into the workforce is exposure. Body cams do offer a wide range of benefits, such as honesty and accountability, but they can also be seen as a threat. One concern that got attention is that the personal privacy invasion of body cams. In some states, governments implemented for a 24/7 camera roll, which can be quite concerning for the officers. Police officers will still talk to their family or friends, take lunch breaks, talk to their colleagues, and go to the bathroom. Having a camera on at all times could document all personal conversations and actions which can be quite tiresome for officers.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are various pros and cons in implementing technology into law enforcement agencies. However, there are more benefits to tech than there are disadvantages. Technology can make the police officers and the people within their community safer.