What to Expect When You Hire a Detective

Thanks to TV shows and movies, private investigators have been stereotyped into something almost unrecognizable, and many people have incorrect presumptions about what a private investigator does.

Because of these misconceptions, hiring a private investigator for the first time can seem daunting – but it shouldn’t be!

Knowing what to expect when you hire a private investigator can help to dispel misconceptions and can give you confidence that you are making the right decision.

Here are some things that you can expect when hiring a private investigator. While each investigation is different, understanding how the basic structure of an investigation can provide you with remarkable clarity, and allow you to know how an investigation will unfold.

Initial Consultation

The initial consultation is an essential part of a private investigation. During the initial consultation, the private investigator will gather information from you about your case. Private investigators rely heavily upon personal information, and the more information you have, the easier it is for the private investigator to conduct their investigation.


The length of investigations varies greatly. Your private investigator will be able to talk with you about different expenses and provide an estimated period of time that the investigation will require. Generally, the more information that is available, the less time the private investigator will have to spend tracking down missing details.


Once the private investigator completes the investigation, it will be time to review the evidence that was gathered. Thanks to technology, viewing the evidence from your own home has never been easier, or if you prefer the investigator can meet with you to show you the footage that was obtained. Keep in mind that surveillance footage won’t look like something out of a spy movie, the evidence that is collected will be shot in real life conditions, and will arrive unedited as “raw footage” that was shot as the events happened. The evidence will most likely be stamped, showing the date and the time the events to place.

Follow Up

Once the evidence has been reviewed, or the witness has been located, the private investigator will often follow up with you. This is especially true in cases that are emotional, or difficult. Let your private investigator know if you would like to continue the investigation, or if you have additional information about your case.

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