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Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Private Investigator

December 1, 2014 Private Investigations

At Sunset Blvd. Investigations, Inc. we understand that your circumstances calls for the most efficient, confidential and experienced licensed private investigation team that will fight for you. We are confident in our team’s ability to handle your particular situation. Below are the answers to many of your frequently asked questions about private investigations and how our team handles certain situations.

What are the licensing requirements for a private investigator in California?
There are several requirements that must be fulfilled in order to become a private investigator; they are:

  • Undergo a criminal history background check through the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
  • Complete 3 years of compensated experience in investigative work (2,000 hours per year to total 6,000 hours); or a law or police science degree with 2 years of experience (4,000 hours); or an AA degree in police science, criminal law, or justice with 2½ years of experience (5,000 hours). Experience must be certified by the individual’s employer that it was performed while employed as a sworn law enforcement officer, military police officer, employee of a licensed Private Investigator, or as an arson investigator for a public fire suppression agency.
  • Pass a 2-hour multiple-choice examination covering the following topics: laws and regulations, terminology, civil and criminal liability, evidence handling, undercover investigations and surveillance.
  • Have fingerprints submitted to the DOJ.

Does Sunset Blvd. Investigations, Inc. carry professional liability insurance?
Yes. We carry $2,000,000 in liability covering errors and omissions. We have never been sued nor encountered a situation in which we had to defend ourselves as licensed private investigators.

If a private investigator is hired to conduct an investigation, who can or cannot know information about the case?
A Private Investigator may not release information acquired during an investigation to anyone other than his/her client, unless otherwise instructed by the client.

Does a private investigator have to submit their findings to the client in writing?
Not necessarily. Investigative reports must be submitted in a manner agreed upon by the Investigator and the client. If there is no agreement, oral reports are as acceptable as written reports. Investigative reports must be submitted to the client upon demand, if payment has been rendered. Private Investigators must make every effort to ascertain that the information acquired is factual and correct.

Will Sunset Blvd. Investigations, Inc. maintain my confidentiality?
Protecting your confidentiality is our top priority and we’re bound by law to preserve it, unless you give us permission to do otherwise, or if you retain us through an attorney your information is protected by attorney-client privilege.

Does Sunset Blvd. Investigations, Inc. guarantee results of my case?
Given the unknown variables that are inherent to investigations, no private investigator is able to guarantee results. Our goal is to use our expertise to uncover every possible fact. We do guarantee the most advanced investigative methods and best results possible based on the information you supplied. We make every effort to ascertain that the information acquired for your case is factual and correct.

What rates should be expected from Sunset Blvd. Investigations, Inc. and how much of a retainer is required?
Our private investigator rates vary depending on a number of factors, such as the type of investigation requested/required, the length and scope of the investigation, as well as time constraints. In most cases, a retainer for services is required in advance.

Are “rush” requests acceptable? Would there be an extra charge if I needed an investigation tomorrow?
The answer to this question would depend on our case schedule on any particular day. We believe in accommodating our clients and we’ll do everything possible to fulfill your request and we never charge a “rush” fee.

Will the person I am attempting to locate be notified?
No, your information and the reason for the investigation remain confidential. Some searches are amassed from a public record that holds no expectation to privacy. For example, real property, including homes and structures recorded with local government, are considered public information. Private investigators have a duty to maintain client confidentiality.

Do private investigators have access to records that are not available to the general public?
Yes. Licensed private investigators qualify for access to databases that are not available to the general public. This includes data aggregators, such as LexisNexis and Accurint. They are able to provide current, in-depth and detailed information that cannot be found on the Internet or through retail information brokers.

Is Sunset Blvd. Investigations, Inc. willing to travel out of state or out of the country?
Yes, we will travel anywhere in the world to pursue the truth. The client makes the final determination whether or not they would like us to travel to obtain the facts of the case. If the possibility of travel is needed to work a case, this will be discussed with the client (along with related travel expenses).

How does Sunset Blvd. Investigations, Inc. communicate with me throughout the investigation?
Sunset Blvd. Investigations, Inc. employs cutting edge technology to ensure timely communication with our clients. Our client retainer agreement, investigation reports and invoices are all transmitted electronically via e-mail unless specified differently from the client.

How can I pay for services conducted by Sunset Blvd. Investigations?
In most cases, services are provided against an advance payment for the work to be done. Before any work is performed, your case retainer is determined in collaboration with you based on the specific investigation requested/required. If the cost for investigative services exceeds the retainer provided, a final invoice will be forwarded to you for payment due upon receipt. If the cost for investigative services is less than the retainer, all remaining funds will be returned to you within 30 days of the conclusion of the investigation. For your convenience, we accept all major credit cards.

At Sunset Blvd. Investigations we can provide you with answers to many of your questions. We do not want you to look back and wish you had more information concerning your particular circumstance. We are available to answer your questions and assist you throughout your situation.

Need a private investigator?

Sunset Blvd. Investigations, Inc. provides seasoned and effective private investigation services for clients throughout the United States and Internationally. Our combined 80 years as law enforcement officers coupled with our private investigative experience distinguishes us from all other investigation businesses. If you’re in need of a private investigator, we’re here to assist you in any way we can. 

Call today at 888-406-0149 to contact us and request a consultation!

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