Private Detective

Private Detective

ThePIGuy

10 Years Experience

Anaheim, CA

Male, 40

Been a private eye for 10 years. The job's not for everyone. If you love odd hours sipping coffee in a dark parking lot waiting for something to happen you should definitely jump at this job immediately. I get hired by spouses, employers, insurance companies, and you name it as well. Oh...and I field a lot of very interesting phone calls that even the most seasoned defense attorneys would raise an eyebrow at.

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Last Answer on March 01, 2015

Best Rated

I just read the PD in the Wolf of Wall Street, Bo Dietl, was actually the real-life PD for Jordan Belfort, and playing himself in the movie. Was he a known guy in PD circles before the movie? And how realistic was the movie's portrayal do you think?

Asked by PD over 2 years ago

I think this guy was a bit before my time, I've never heard of him. I've never seen the movie either. Try snooping around on some PI forums, some of them are open to the public to ask Q&A.

What did you do for work before becoming a PI, and why'd you decide to leave it to be a detective? Was it always a dream job for you?

Asked by unikitty over 2 years ago

I was a meter reader for a utility company. In all honesty, my GF at the time saw a flyer posted at her campus and gave it to me. I submitted my resume and got a call. The rest is history. It was never my dream job, I don't think anyone as a kid wants to become a PI. It kinda just happens, that's life, it swings you in a certain direction and you either go with it or not.

Does the law recognize a PI-client confidentiality, or could you ever be called to testify in court or have your docs subpoenaed?

Asked by Derek over 2 years ago

It depends on the state. Here in California we have The Private Investigator's Act which makes it a requirement for the PI to keep the client's case confidential. Yes, a PI can be called to testify in any legal matter (civil or criminal). The "pi/client" privilege is similar to a "doctor/patient" privilege. Which means you may have to reveal certain case details if the court feels those details are in the interest of justice. It will never trump the "attorney/client" privilege. An attorney NEVER has to reveal anything about his client. Attorneys have the highest client privilege in the American legal system.

When do you have a duty to report something to the police? What if a clients says "I want you to find this guy Dave, and then I'm gonna kill him"? So you prob don't take that case (right?), but do you have to report it?

Asked by Derek over 2 years ago

Private detectives aren't sworn law enforcement, clinicians or social workers, so technically we don't have a "duty" to report. You use your own judgment, a lot of the time people are frustrated with their situation and sometimes say things they don't mean. But if you feel those hairs sticking up in the back of your neck...it's time to make that call. The cops will usually have the PI come down to the station and game plan the sting. There was one of these in the news a few years back. After being briefed by law enforcement, the PI met up with the client in his car and had an audio recorder rolling. Once the client handed over payment, the cops swooped in and arrested her.

So what's your hourly rate, and is it roughly in line with other PIs?

Asked by ad over 2 years ago

My hourly rate is within the industry rate. The hourly and/or flat rate tends to depend on the type of case, ie: bug sweep, surveillance, subpoena service. In my experience, the average rate is between $50 to $125 per hour. If the PI offers services in an area where there are not many PIs, they may charge more. Lie detector rate is a bit different, usually $350 per person w/ an average of 8 to 12 lie detector questions asked.

Favorite coffee for late night shifts? (And you ever do energy drinks or Adderall instead?)

Asked by ama over 2 years ago

7 Eleven Hazelnut seems to be my fave these days. Also a fan of Winchell's coffee, plus you get to smell donuts every time you walk in (added bonus). I must admit, energy drinks can be kinda fun. I only have an energy drink if I'm headed out of town for a case. Palm Springs or San Fransisco, something like that.

Could someone take out a restraining order against you, thereby essentially making it impossible for you to keep them under surveillance?

Asked by Sam Charmin over 2 years ago

Probably. But they'd need a reason and be able to prove it. I have the luxury of not having a 9 to 5 job, so I can show up in court any day of the week and appeal it. The plaintiff can be cited for "lack of prosecution" from the judge if they can't prove their case. I may not have to do a thing but show up and dispute the prosecution's case. Remember, the plaintiff needs to prove their case, not the defendant.