WHY EXACTLY DOES A PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR DO? – Private investigators are professional information gathers and providers of sworn testimony when necessary for our clients. No investigator can “guarantee” a specific outcome or result. If the information you seek does not exist or is not legally obtainable then we can not do anything about it. A good investigator however, is resourceful, creative, and tenacious. Any good investigator has a working to expert knowledge of the law, local court records, photography, geography, psychology, interviewing skills, technology, and the natural curiosity to learn about anything they don’t already know about. They are also licensed, insured, required to submit fingerprints, and pass an FBI level background check. The State of Texas requires all private investigators to submit to all those requirements to protect the public and ensure that you are hiring someone whom’s testimony and evidence will be worth something in court. Hiring an unlicensed person to investigate, conduct surveillance, or gather evidence is a CLASS A MISDEMEANOR for the person hiring and the person hired in Texas. It is a serious crime. Additionally, any evidence collected by the unlicensed individual could be ruled inadmissible in court and further scrutiny could result in civil and criminal penalties.
WHY DO PRIVATE INVESTIGATORS CHARGE WHAT THEY CHARGE? – Private Investigators in Texas are licensed professionals just like lawyers, doctors, plumbers, or electricians. When you hire a licensed private investigator, you are most likely going to pay for the investigator’s time and travel expenses. At first many people are surprised at the cost required for an investigation, especially one that requires a lot of surveillance. “You charge that much to just sit there and take a picture” is an often heard statement from potential clients. When you hire a private investigator you are paying for years of training, education, and experience from a credible and insured third party who’s evidence and testimony should with stand scrutiny in a court room if necessary. If you think a private investigator is expensive, wait until you or your friend is forced to take off work and testify that the evidence was obtained legally and properly. Furthermore, once your subject’s counsel discovers the evidence was not collected by a licensed investigator, they could move to have you and your friend charged with a crime, the evidence tossed from court, and/or sanctions against your side in your court case. When you add up the cost of losing your case, going to jail, and wasting a lot of people’s time including your own for nothing, a licensed investigator’s rate does not seem so expensive.
WHY CAN’T I JUST COLLECT MY OWN EVIDENCE OR HAVE A FRIEND/RELATIVE HELP ME? –If you or a friend/relative decide to conduct your own surveillance, interviews, or other research you are likely going to be in violation of the law. You are also depriving your case of the benefit of having an experienced professional, jeopardizing the out come of your case. For example, if you or your friend/relative capture a picture of your subject in some nefarious activity or violating a judge’s order, the subject’s counsel can and will likely subpoena the person that captured the evidence to court. The subject’s lawyer will do everything they can to prove some law you may not even be aware of was violated in order to have the evidence thrown out of court. You or your friend/relative will now have to take off work and be grilled under oath about the collection of the evidence as well as have their credibility questioned which may involve bringing up their criminal record or personal history. Most people would find this possibility unacceptable. Having your evidence admitted to court and avoiding criminal charges would be much better than any money saved trying to do it yourself.
HOW DO I KNOW THAT YOU REALLY DID ANY WORK ON MY CASE? – We keep track of all times that we are working on your case and you are being billed. At FM Detective Agency, LLC we go one step further and provide time and location stamped “status shots” to our client’s in real time while we are out in the field. We also track all field investigators using GPS and third party apps that provide reports you can review upon request. Not only do these measures help you have confidence that you are being billed properly, they are lock solid proof if any of our evidence if challenged in court.
A licensed investigator’s integrity is integral to their ability to be employable and licensed. Any investigator that would falsify or misrepresent their work for a few extra dollars would be throwing their career away. Investigators must be a reliable witness with impeccable integrity in order to testify effectively for their clients The rip offs that we have seen tend to be unlicensed investigators that advertise online. Always verify your investigator is licensed with the state at: https://tops.portal.texas.gov/psp-self-service/login/auth. As a regulated and licensed profession we are also required to advise you that complaints can be made to our regulatory body, the Texas Department of Public Safety Licensing & Registration Service Private Security Program by contacting them at https://www.dps.texas.gov/RSD/CONTACT/PSB.ASPX.
WHAT IF I CAN NOT AFFORD A PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR? – A better question might be, can you afford not to have a licensed private investigator? Too often people spend thousands of dollars on an attorney or a wedding just to realize a few hundred dollars on a private investigator might have won the case for them or revealed the truth about their future spouse . We understand sometimes there are extenuating circumstances such as a spouse that only has access to joint funds and any payments to a private investigator would jeopardize the investigation. In these cases, we suggest you contact us and we might be able to arrange payment upon contingency. These cases are accepted on a case by case basis and if successful our fee will be more expensive than if you paid in advance. We will also consider factors like your previous credit history, assets, and ability to pay if our fee is due. Contact someone at 214-971-8408 if you wish to discuss this type of arrangement.