Every year droves of people turn to private investigators to help solve the problems they can’t get to the bottom of on their own. Private detectives provide an invaluable service to people in their greatest times of need-when they are being cheated on, harassed, stalked, bribed, spied on, and sabotaged, amongst dozens of other things. But not all people claiming to be private investigators are actually legally allowed to carry out investigations, so it is extremely important to verify the credentials of any private investigator before you hire them or share the details of your case.
In most states, private investigators must be licensed by the appropriate government agency within their state. It is illegal to practice investigations or claim to be a private investigator without holding a license. The licensing process ensures that PIs are qualified, experienced, free of legal issues or felonies, and generally are of sound moral character. There are a few states that don’t require licensure, but most states do.
One particular example of someone unknowingly hiring an unlicensed private investigator involves a family in Bloomington, Indiana who turned to a “private investigator” to help find their missing Indiana University student. According to Fox news, the family became displeased with the progress of the investigation, and police soon found out that the investigator the family had hired was not licensed, and was therefore practicing private investigations legally. Worse, the detective was not only unlicensed, his previously held license had been suspended by a judge for 10 years, though the reason for the suspension was undisclosed.
Unfortunately, this is not an entirely unique scenario. Anyone seeking a private investigator should ask to see credentials and verify that the investigator they are considering is legally allowed to practice in their state. Although there are a few bad apples in the private investigative world, don’t be deterred; the number of legitimate and certified private investigators far outnumbers the few illegal ones.
Again, not every state requires licensure, but even those that do not still generally have basic legal requirements that their business must adhere to. Look into the requirements in your state so that you can make an informed decision when searching for the right private investigator.
For more information on private investigator requirements by state, an excellent resource can be found at www.icsworld.com