Many people hear the name, but still wonder “what is a private investigator?” If you were to look up a private investigator job description, it would tell you that private investigators (PIs) are individuals who locate, document and analyze facts and information, then provide it to their client. Private investigators can cover a wide range of investigation areas including legal, financial, and personal matters. This can include services like verifying a person’s identity, locating a missing person and investigating marital infidelity.
According to the California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services, a private investigator is an individual who:
- Can investigate crimes
- Can investigate the identity, character, business, occupation, etc., of an individual
- Can investigate the location of a person’s lost or stolen property
- Can investigate the cause of a fire, accident, damage or injury
- Can secure evidence for use in court
Specialized Resource Group (SRG) is a fully licensed and insured private investigation and security firm that is based in Orange County, California. Our team offers more than 20 years of experience providing investigation services to individuals and businesses throughout Southern California, the country and even internationally. SRG is a customer-oriented business that provides high quality investigative services.
How Does One Qualify to Become a Licensed Private Investigator?
Not just anyone can be a private investigator. There are legal requirements for a private investigator to become licensed and able to offer private investigative services in California. The California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services has set standards that an individual must meet to be licensed as a private investigator. These requirements include:
- 18 years or older
- Undergo a criminal history background check that is provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the California Department of Justice (DOJ)
- Have at least three years of compensated experience in investigative work, which is equivalent to 2,000 hours each year for a total of 6,000 hours; or
possess a law degree/completed a four year degree in police science plus two years of experience equivalent to 4,000 hours; or
possess an associate’s degree in police science, criminal law, or criminal justice and 2 ½ years of experience, or the equivalent to 5,000 hours
- Pass a two-hour, multiple-choice examination that covers evidence handling, laws and regulations, terminology, undercover investigations, civil and criminal liability and surveillance
- Pay a licensing fee to the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services
A licensed private investigator is legally allowed to hire out their investigative services to an individual, partnership, or corporation.
What Can a Private Investigator Do For Me?
While a private investigator is licensed by the state, they do not possess the same rights as a law enforcement officer. There are a number of things a private investigator cannot do, including making an arrest, trespassing, tampering with mail, wiretapping or claiming to be a law enforcement officer.
However, there are many services a private investigator can provide you including:
- Investigation of criminal conduct – If you believe someone is stalking you or you have suffered from a crime, a PI can coordinate with local law enforcement to investigate the situation
- Investigation of child abuse – If you believe that someone is abusing your child, a PI to investigate the situation using discreet investigative means. The PI can locate and document the evidence you need to take action, like supporting your petition for sole custody
- Location of missing persons – If you want to track a person who is missing or whose location you wish to discover, a PI can conduct record searches and other investigative means to locate them
- Investigation of marital infidelity– If you want proof that your spouse is being unfaithful, a PI can discreetly investigate their online and offline behavior, compile financial evidence like hidden assets, and document any improper behavior
- Background checks – If you are hiring a new employee, it is important to make sure they are who they say they are. A PI can provide background information on potential new employees
- Insurance investigations – If you suspect you have been the victim of insurance fraud, a PI firm can perform an independent insurance investigation to find the truth
If you choose to hire a private investigator, choose from the best at SRG. Our team is comprised of members that are highly experienced professionals and possess backgrounds in relevant fields like law enforcement, the United States military and private sector investigation. Our skilled team offers a variety of skill sets that will help clients with a variety of needs. Not only will you receive first-rate and personalized service, but you will also gain the information you need to take action, such as filing for divorce or making a hiring decision. If you are looking for the best private investigative services in Los Angeles or Orange County, look no further than the professional and highly trained and experienced team at SRG.