Frequently Asked Questions
Priority 1 Investigations
What is a private investigator?
A private investigator also known as a PI, Private Detective.
- First and foremost, we are consummate and diligent researchers. We sift through great amounts of data and analyze it to separate facts from fiction, or to discover the truth over option.
- Many people, even professionals, confuse facts over opinion; or policy over the law. That is because certain habits, practices, or policies are in place for a long time; they become historical customs and are assumed to be correct when they are not. As Investigators, we do not blindly believe, we verify.
- We are also proactive problem solvers, facilitators, and fierce advocates for our clients. If we come into a case matter soon enough, it is our goal to mitigate or prevent small issues from becoming major disasters.
Who hires private investigators?
How can I hire an out of state or international investigator?
Priority 1 Investigations Is headquatered in California, however, we have a network of affiliates and resources nationwide, and internationally. We can locate and screen the right connection you need in virtually any specialty or area of the world.
What a private investigator cannot do
Every state has its own set of laws with respect to what a private investigator is allowed to do. Most states require a license, so the private investigator must be practicing with a license in that state if one is required.
Private Investigators are governed by the “Private Investigators Act”, state and federal laws, including the California Business and Professions Code.
A Private Investigator cannot impersonate or give the impression that they are law enforcement. This means they cannot wear a uniform, carry a badge, or insinuate they anyone holding the official office.
- Cannot use “hacking”, or any type of electronic intrusion into someone’s computer or communication device.
- Cannot conduct audio surveillance in someone’s home, even if you live there as well. Video only. Ie. “Nanny Cams”
- Cannot use threats, bribery, or offer advantages to acquire information.
- Cannot conduct surveillance when there is a court-ordered restraining order in place. This would be considered stalking and harassment.
- They are not allowed to film a subject through a window to a private residence. This restriction means they cannot video or take pictures of you while you are in your home.
- They cannot tamper with your mail or wiretap a phone without consent.
- They cannot put a GPS device on a car unless it is also registered to you, the contracting client. This would normally be a joint marital asset.
- Cannot record a conversation without you having knowledge.
How do private investigators charge?
In the majority of cases, private investigators will charge an hourly rate. Hourly rates can vary. Mostly investigators will ask for a retainer fee before taking a case. It is unlikely you will find an investigator willing to do just one or two hours of investigative work.
What types of services Priority 1 Investigations provide?
Priority 1 Investigations offer many types of investigations. Our investigators often work for law firms to gather information on civil or defense cases. Insurance companies hire investigators to look into suspicious claims. Private individuals hire investigators to locate missing people, to do surveillance on spouses, and for many other reasons.
Our Team will help you with:
- Accident / Reconstruction
- Arson / Fire
- Asset Search
- Background Checks
- Bug Sweep / TSCM
- Child Support / Custody
- Computer Forensics / Crime
- Crime Scene
- Due Diligence
- Electronic Data Discovery
- Electronic Surveillance
- Identity Theft
- Infidelity / Cheating Spouse
- Missing Persons
- Mystery Shopper
- People Locate / Skip Trace
- Polygraph / Lie Detector
- Process Service
- Public Records
- Trial Preparation
- Video / Photo Surveillance
- Workers Compensation
- Wrongful Death