Hire a Private Investigator in Michigan
Chances are, if you are looking to hire a private investigator in Michigan, you have a specific problem that you need help with. Of course, you need the investigator to be competent and to keep the matter completely confidential, and like most people, your first place to go to find help is the internet.
The real problem with using the internet to hire a private investigator is the way the search results will come back. As with most if not all professional services, when you type in “hire a private investigator” in Google, you get back the closest private investigators to your location, which isn’t necessarily the best choice to get the results you are seeking. Finding the closest provider works great for many services, but not when hiring a private investigator. With services like take-out food, haircuts, eyeglasses or need a plumber, most providers offer the same basic thing at the same price. In essence, you are not necessarily better off looking for the absolute best source. Unfortunately, when it’s time to hire a Michigan private investigator, you will find that what the closest PIs can provide may not only underwhelm you, they may be a complete waste of money! Aside from that, if you work with the local private investigator, then you run into much greater odds of seeing them out in public, usually at the wrong time, and potentially creating an awkward or embarrassing situation that you might prefer to avoid.
ASG is one of the largest, most preferred Michigan private investigative agencies. We don’t dabble in investigations; we work cases just like yours every day and have staff near you!
Most private investigators in Michigan are small, part time businesses. They will take any case and promise the world, but far too often, the client doesn’t know what to ask before they hire a private investigator, and they end up unhappy with the results and the money they wasted. Unfortunately, this is the norm when hiring a private investigator in Michigan. This means for the majority of us, an internet search for “hire a private investigator” will bring up agencies like this. Many of these Michigan PIs are home based businesses hiding behind a PO Box. They usually have few, if any, employees and often just take a case and turn around and subcontract it out to someone else to do the work. Their retainer is non-refundable, and you really have no way to judge if they can do a good job for you or not.
If you hire a private investigator in Michigan, complete confidentiality is not just a promise, it is mandated by law!
When you have made the decision to hire a private investigator in Michigan, you should do your best to verify that they are a legitimate, licensed private investigative agency. When doing this, don’t rely on just their website or Google reviews. These things certainly help, but you might want to pull up their office on Google Maps and see if they have an office, if it looks like a legitimate business that a large staff can work at, or if it’s an old converted house turned into a shared office. Every real PI in Michigan has to be licensed by the State. In Michigan, a private investigator is actually referred to as a Professional Investigator. You should also look and see if they have posted any videos about their services. Does it look like they have a large team of intelligent investigators or does it look more like a cheap ad? More importantly, when hiring a private investigator, you should call them. Does anyone answer your call? Are you speaking with the owner directly or staff? If the owner answers the telephone, you can rest assured that this is a small agency like those we mentioned above. Another crucial point to understand when you hire a private investigator is that they should be able to explain everything they are going to do for you, how they are going to do it, what proof you will get that shows what they actually did and what the risks are that the assignment wont achieve the outcome that you expected. No investigation is guaranteed to be a total success and there is always risk, but a good PI should be able to explain that risk and help you to decide if it is worth the investment before they take your money.
When hiring a private investigator in Michigan, it is customary to pay a retainer up front for the services. Most time, a private investigators retainer will be for the full amount estimated for the investigative services you need. Depending on the type of case you have, the PI might charge a flat fee or charge you on an hourly basis. As noted above, the amount of the retainer and the reason for it should be explained to you and easily understandable. If you are hire a PI to conduct surveillance, it is a good idea to commit to two or three days initially and assess how the case is evolving before you pay a large retainer at the outset.
As with many professional services, when you hire an investigator in Michigan, it has become more and more common to hire them after a telephone consultation rather than coming into the PIs office for a formal face-to-face meeting. With the advent of video conferencing, electronic document exchange and email, a client can quickly and easily hire a private investigator in less time and with less hassle. When the need to hire a private investigator is personal, and sometimes involves a sensitive situation, clients have reported that not having to go thru a face to face meeting is actually less emotional and more productive, as well as avoiding paying for meeting time.
Before I hire a private investigator, how do I know that they have not worked for the person or company I am investigating?
To prevent a conflict of interest, a reputable Michigan private investigator will conduct a conflict check. This is a review of their records to see if they represent the subject of your investigation and therefore cannot represent you. It is important for you to understand that this check should be done before you give the private investigator all the details of your case. An ethical Michigan private investigator will always keep your inquiry confidential and will not share the fact that you contacted them about representation with the other party.
How much should hiring a private investigator cost?
The rate can vary, but on average, hiring a Michigan private investigator should cost approximately $100 per hour. PI agencies that charge substantially less than that are likely a much riskier investment. If an investigative agency has real capabilities to deliver complete, accurate investigations, they will require the right people, training, experience and tools and those attributes all have a cost. Deeply discounted private investigations are likely going to underwhelm you in the end. It is very common for people to hire a private investigator that was in their local area and end up with no results and the PI saying that they tried and you need to keep paying them to keep trying.
How do I begin to hire a private investigator?
It all starts with a phone call. All Michigan private investigators are held to strict confidentiality, by law, so when you call for a consultation, that call must be held in confidence. You can also call anonymously and leave names and specific details out of your initial conversation. The investigator you speak with should be able to explain what they can do, how they will do it, how likely it is to succeed, what your risks are and what your investment in an investigation will cost. If, after this initial call, you are comfortable with the investigators, then you can retain them over the phone and through electronic document exchange or decide if you need to have an in-person meeting with the private investigators.
Should I hire a private investigator near me?
The short answer is maybe. Although the closest investigator might be a perfect match, it is more likely that they won’t be. Most private investigators in Michigan are small operations that only handle basic investigations and work part time. Obviously you don’t want to hire a private investigator to perform surveillance for you if they have to drive 2 hours to get to the case location, but for most of us, particularly those living in metro-Detroit, driving 15, 20, 30 miles is completely normal. This leaves you with much greater options when hiring a private investigator. You can forget about their office location and focus on hiring the right professional investigator and get the best results.