What is a private investigator?


By Leonardo Espinal

What is a Private Investigator? By Leonardo Espinal A Private Investigator or Private Detective is an individual who obtains information through surveillance and other measures. According to Chapter 493.0 Florida State statutes Private Investigators and Private Investigative agencies serve in positions of trust. Untrained and unlicensed persons or businesses, or persons not of good moral character, are a threat to the public safety and welfare. Individuals or agencies claiming to provide or advertise private investigator services must be licensed. You can check if a Florida Private Investigator is licensed at www.dos.state.fl.us/click on link to licensing or try www.mylicensesite.com and if he owns an investigative agency.

These services Include: Subcontracting with the government to determine crimes or wrongdoings against the United States. Determining the identity, habits, conduct, movements, whereabouts, affiliations, associations, transactions, reputation of character of any society, person, or group of persons. The credibility of witnesses or other persons. The whereabouts of missing persons, owners of abandoned or escheated property, heirs to estates. The location or recovery of lost or stolen property. The causes or origins of fires, libels, slanders, losses, accidents, damage or injury to real or personal property. Securing evidence to be secured before investigating committees or boards of award or arbitration or trial of civil or criminal cases.

Most Private Investigators are retained by attorneys and law firms for surveillance, process service, accident reconstruction, and even to locate witnesses. Insurance companies hire Private Investigators to perform surveillance and activity checks on their insurance claims to make sure that the claimant is not committing insurance fraud. From my experience as an insurance fraud investigator and many hours of surveillance, I would say 9 out of 10 claims are false. So why do you think our insurance rates are so high? It is a federal offense to commit insurance fraud, however our government agencies usually on most cases won't follow through and prosecute these individuals who are committing these federal crimes.

The general public hire Private Investigators to find lost loved ones, to check on cheating spouses, and criminal background checks. A good Private Investigator can perform all these basic tasks and do not specialize in one specific field. The Public should be aware when hiring a P.I overseas that most countries don't require or have any type of Private Investigator license. I have done many International Investigations Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Colombia and Mexivo. Did you know that in theses countries there are no licensed Private Investigators I wouldn't subcontract a case to a P.I. in another country not only because they are not licensed, but because their work requires supervision. Don't get me wrong I use other Investigators, however I work along with them and supervise their activities it's my reputation on the line.

The government also use Private Investigator Services to determine crimes or wrongdoings done or threatened against the United States. When having persons followed you should be ready to pay a high rate usually it takes two Private Investigators to follow a subject and this is do to traffic congestion (gridlock) and the subject's driving habits. Be wary of Private Detectives or Private Investigators in other countries. Most countries do not regulate the industry which means there is no licensing requirement. They may take your money and you'll probably never hear from them again. Remember you get what you pay for.

Author: Leonardo Espinal Date: 12/02/2005

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