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

How much do you charge, and do you work hourly or per-project? Do you charge extra if you dig up what a client was looking for?

Asked by ad almost 6 years ago

I usually charge an hourly rate....but I have been known to charge a "flat rate". It usually depends on the case and how confident I feel I can get the client results. I won't say how much I charge, but I will say that it's within the industry standard. Usually, I break it down into 3 categories. Surveillance, bug sweeps and locating people. That's the "Big 3" in my line of work. It really depends on what kind of case you have that determines the hourly rate and/or "flat rate" for the case.

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 almost 6 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.

Has anyone ever hired a detective to follow YOU?

Asked by cake almost 6 years ago

Not that I know of, but anything's possible. Whenever a PI takes a case, he never knows who the client will tell. You hope and pray they keep quiet about things (at least until the case is resolved). I've had a client's macho brother show up to a surveillance location in his lifted truck because he couldn't control his emotions. I remember calling the client, asking her if it's ok that I update her brother on the case. She said yes, so I approached the brother and calmed him down. Letting him know I would keep him in the loop throughout the night. He ended up leaving and thankfully saved the case from disaster. A large aspect of PI work is about managing people and their situation. There are cases when you end up working both sides (like getting an interview from a victim who was injured by the defendant, who has now hired you) so having a customer service oriented attitude can really work wonders.

What's it like having to deliver bad news to someone (aka your wife's screwing this other guy) and do you try and be sympathetic or always maintain a detached professional demeanor?

Asked by Dallas Cowboys almost 6 years ago

Very eloquently put! Usually, you just gauge the client and get an idea of their personality from the initial consult. Some clients are no bullshit, they just want the facts. Some clients need a little more sensitivity. Men like being kept up to date constantly on the progress w/ the case and want the facts as they come in. Women are much more passive, they usually want to wait until there is confirmed cheating and they always want to see what "the other woman" looks like. Even if their man is cheating, they have a hard time believing he did it with malice or they blame themselves for something that went wrong in the relationship. Women are great to work with, 90% of the women I had as clients were very classy and took the news very well, they prepared themselves for the worst before they picked up the phone to call me.

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 almost 6 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.

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 almost 6 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.

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 almost 6 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.