The Wasser Agency

License# A8500094

Private Investigator in Miami, FL. Surveillance Investigation Miami and Divorce Investigation. South Beach Investigator. Miami Investigator

Hiring private investigator Miami Beach South Beach

Definitions of Private Investigators and Hiring private investigator

We have already seen that the functions of investigation are many and multi-faceted. Now, let's get a bit technical and nail down a formal definition. From its Latin derivative, vestigare, investigation implies a tracking, a search, an assimilation, or collection of information and facts. This essential function is common to all types of investigations, regardless of their special purposes. The following definitions of two of the major types discussed above further amplify the general definition and provide more detail.

General Private Investigator. Hiring private investigator

The statutes in many states have generally defined the private investigator as "any person who engages in the business of, or accepts employment to make investigations to determine information of crimes or civil wrongs, the location, disposition, or recovery of stolen property; the cause of accidents, fires, damages or injury to persons or to property; or evidence to be used before any court, board, officer, or investigative committee."

The private investigation can also be defined as the process of fact assimilation. It is the systematic collection of evidence necessary to support or refute a claim, whether it be civil or criminal in nature. Private investigation is the process of observation, close inspection, and analysis, as well as the continuous and regular inquiry into a specific subject. Private investigation is the search and journey toward the reconstruction of events and conditions pertinent to clients’ needs and interest. It is the collection of information to resolve factual disputes and confusing data. It can also be the supplying of independent pieces of information, such as names, addresses, and telephone numbers.

Legal Private Investigator and Hiring private investigator

A legal private investigator is trained in techniques of fact-finding and forensic procedures (applying scientific and medical knowledge to legal matters for formal argumentation in a law court). He is committed to the pursuit of truth because it is only by having verified facts at hand that an attorney can intelligently apply the law in the best interest of his client. As we saw earlier, his aim is to assemble as complete a factual picture of a situation as possible so that a case can be prepared for trial.

Legal investigations differ from general investigations in that they include the following uniform practices:

  1. A logical investigative or procedural sequence must be followed.
  2. Real, physical evidence must be legally obtained.
  3. Real, physical evidence must be properly stored and preserved.
  4. Witnesses must be identified, interviewed and prepared for any potential or actual litigation.
  5. Reports and documentation must be collected.
  6. Information must be accurately and completely recorded.
  7. Evidence collected must correlate to the claim, cause of action, or offense charged.

Comparing Law Enforcement, Private Investigation, and Guard and Patrol Service

Since law enforcement, private investigation, and guard & patrol service are related, there could be some confusion in understanding the similarities and differences among them. Let's briefly distinguish their functions so we may obtain a better understanding of private investigation.

Law Enforcement. Hiring private investigator

Law enforcement agencies are public agencies paid for by citizen's taxes. A police investigation is conducted basically for the purpose of apprehending a suspect of a crime and locating evidence for a successful prosecution of a case. The police use three main sources to reconstruct the past, as well as to identify and apprehend suspects: people, records, and evidence.

Private Investigations. Hiring private investigator

Private investigation agencies, on the other hand, are hired by a variety of clients, such as banks, hotels, insurance companies, stores, lawyers, manufacturers, individuals, etc. for varying purposes including:

  1. To determine if there is sufficient factual evidence to support or defeat each element of a cause of action or a case at trial, such as workmen's comp, insurance fraud, medical malpractice, criminal or civil cases, etc.
  2. To locate persons or property.
  3. To investigate frauds, embezzlements, divorces, employee thefts, etc.
  4. To conduct background checks, surveillances, asset checks, interviews, undercover, etc.

Guard and Patrol Services

Guard and patrol personnel offer their services to industrial plants, financial institutions, educational institutions, retail establishments, hotels, health care facilities, recreation facilities, libraries and museums, warehouse and goods distribution depots, etc. They undertake the following responsibilities:

  1. Prevention and detection of intrusion, unauthorized entry or activity, vandalism, or trespass on private property.
  2. Prevention and detection of theft, loss, embezzlement, misappropriation or concealment of merchandise, or other valuable documents or papers.
  3. Control, regulation, or direction of the flow or movements of the public, whether by vehicle or otherwise to assume the protection of property.
  4. Protection of individuals from bodily harm.
  5. Enforcement of rules, regulations, and policy related to crime reductions.

Power and Responsibility of Being a Private Investigator

New private investigators learn certain confidential techniques that give them power and ability over the average citizen. They must, therefore, adhere to a higher level of responsibility and ethics. Some of the skills a new private investigator learns could result in a misuse of power. They are:

  • Determining a person's true identity. Private Investigator.
  • Determining an individual's personal background. Private Investigator.
  • Determine a person's current employment. Private Investigator.
  • Determining someone's personal and professional reputation. Private Investigator.
  • Determining a person's bank balances, debt level, and financial background. Private Investigator.
  • Determining a person's unlisted telephone number. Private Investigator.

Learning to become a private investigator also entails learning confidential techniques to move smoothly and swiftly through any bureaucratic system. Private Investigators know how to avoid certain restrictions that normally prevent access by the average citizen.

But gaining a higher level of power and professional ability must be balanced with a higher level of responsibility. In few other businesses or professions is one expected to maintain the high standards of integrity as one needs as a private investigator. A private investigator must possess good moral character and be exemplary in conduct, honesty, and loyal to the profession.

Danger and Risks in Private Investigation. Hiring private investigator

Some aspects of private investigation have no inherent danger or risk. These include searching public records, pre-trial preparation for civil actions, computer crime investigations, etc. But, many other aspects of private investigation do involve danger and risk. There are two types of danger: expected and unexpected.

When private investigators can anticipate a high probability of danger, then the danger is expected. Examples include criminal investigation, employee theft, undercover investigation, process serving, marital investigations, surveillance, and bodyguard work. Unexpected danger, on the other hand, is unforeseeable and uncontrollable. Examples include an ambush or assault when you least expect it.

Risk, on the other hand, is the voluntary taking of a dangerous chance. For example, a private investigator on surveillance risks the hazards of running a red light because he does not want to lose the subject. Private Investigator. The risk, in this case, is taken under conditions of uncertainty (possible auto collision) which exposes the private investigator to possible loss in order to reach the desired outcome (maintaining surveillance on the subject). Private Investigators take certain risks because they strive for some benefit or professional compensation.

From the psychological standpoint, the exposure to risk and danger itself appeals to many individuals. Many private investigators, as well as those in related fields such as law enforcement, get as must satisfaction from knowing that they face constant danger. Private Investigator. However, it is not the harm or danger they value, but the heightened intensity which comes from the exposure and the added challenge of keeping it from happening. In other words, many private investigators thrive on the adrenaline rush. Those who enjoy the risks and dangers of private investigation do not envision themselves as taking outrageous chances. Rather, they prefer to see danger as an intense stimulant to overcome challenging assignments.

Hiring private investigator Carrying a Gun.

As a general rule, private investigators do not carry guns. Movies and detective television series feed on fantasies of private eyes that pack guns and beat the truth out of the bad guys. This is far from the truth. The private investigator's work consists of cases that do not involve street arrests or dealing with violent criminals. Private Investigator. That job belongs to the police. However, in some circumstances, private investigators do need to carry guns, at times, after obtaining a weapons permit from their local Sheriff's department. These incidents include bodyguard assignments, protecting evidence, organized crime cases, or when there is a direct threat on a private investigator's life.

From a psychological standpoint, carrying a gun can give a private investigator a distorted sense of power. The transformation from an anonymous civilian to a private investigator can create the illusion of power and superiority, which can have a profound impact on the private investigator's self-concept. He can mistakenly regard himself more capable, stronger and smarter than others.

Carrying a gun makes him think he is the person he's dreamed of becoming, thus gratifying childhood fantasies of omnipotence. Such feelings can become addictive since power and authority are important vehicles to pleasure. Private Investigator. Eventually, the private investigator cannot resist his addiction. After all, the opposite feelings are powerlessness and fear, which reinforce the need to carry a weapon. The well-balanced private investigator is aware of this power temptation and balances it with good judgment, emotional maturity and moderation, and finds no need to carry a gun except in certain situations.

Women in Private Investigation. Hiring private investigator

The private investigation profession may have been marked as a man's domain in the past, but that image is beginning to change. Private Investigator. The number of women in the field, while still substantially smaller than the number of men, is rising rapidly.

The days of the tough, ex-cop, bourbon in the desk drawer and carrying a .45 gun, are over. Today, "data detectives" are becoming far more prevalent than the traditionally tough, two-fisted PI. Women do an exceptional job in researching court documents, using computers, gathering data, etc. Private Investigator. Women are also effective as "people detectives," skills very much in demand. They do an exemplary job of interviewing clients and thus have a much better chance of obtaining information from people than their male counterparts. People are usually suspicious and apprehensive of a male private investigator, but when they interact with a female private investigator, they don't feel as threatened. Private Investigator.

People also tend to relax when a woman is on the phone. It is much easier for a woman to use a telephone pretext for obtaining information than it is for her male counterpart. Private Investigator. Even on surveillances, a female detective is less likely to arouse suspicion or apprehension in a subject. This is especially true when the subject is a woman who frequently fears the possibility of being stalked or assaulted by a man. Even when a female private investigator follows a male subject, he is less likely to become suspicious of her presence. This increases the probability of success. Private Investigator.

If you are a male trainee who plans to start your own agency, DTI recommends teaming up with a female agent, wife, girlfriend, or associate. Private Investigator. You will have a much higher chance of success as a male/female team than if you work individually or in an all-male environment. If you are a female and training to become a detective, your opportunities are unlimited. You can easily get a job in a detective agency or work easily with a male counterpart as a two person team, especially after becoming a DTI graduate.

Many medium size detective agencies tend to hire more women today than in the past. They find that they are more dedicated and conscientious. In one detective agency, for example, for every twelve investigators hired, eight are women.

Private Investigators Who Perform Well

Many studies show the personal attributes and professional skills necessary for success. They provide a mechanism for measuring traits that can help you evaluate yourself at any point in your career. By reviewing the following list, you can get valuable feedback as to your current strengths and weaknesses. Private Investigator. Here's what you should look for in yourself:

Intelligence and reasoning ability. Hiring private investigator

Can you analyze and integrate many facts into a plan or report? Can you use facts to draw conclusions? Private Investigator.

Private investigator Curiosity and imagination

Are you driven to hunt down all pertinent facts and clues, taking nothing for granted? Are you skeptical of the obvious? Do you have a sense for the unusual Private Investigator? Can you tell when something is out of place or not in keeping with the norm? Are you suspicious enough about human nature to keep digging for better answers? Are you fully aware of your surroundings so that you notice small things that may offer clues, Private Investigator?

Hiring private investigator Observation and memory.

Are all five senses intact and functioning (sight, hearing, touch, smell, taste)? Are you alert and attentive?

Private Investigator Knowledge of life and people

Can you deal with people from all walks of life, minorities, inner-city residents, suburban dwellers, the young, the old? Do you have common sense, an outgoing personality, a spirit of cooperation, emotional stability, and acting ability for role playing Private Investigator?

Private Investigator Technical know-how

Can you use technical equipment (cameras, videos, computers, etc.) in your investigations to gather facts or document activities, Private Investigator?

Perseverance, stick-to-itiveness, and energy Private Investigator.

Many who wish to become private investigators believe the job involves a glamorous lifestyle. But, the ability not to tire easily, survive boredom, and keep energy in reserve in order to carry on is more realistic. Do you have those qualities Private Investigator?

Recognize and control bias and prejudice in oneself and on the job

Can you acknowledge your own biases and balance them with the truth in order to maintain objectivity Private Investigator?

Private Investigator Sensitivity to people's feelings

As a Private Investigator: Can you act with discretion and tact? Do you respect a confidence?

Private Investigator Honesty and courage to withstand temptation and corruption

Can you "just say no" to a bribe? Can you avoid an emotional involvement with a client, even if the temptation is strong?

Private Investigator Ability to testify in court

Are you familiar with the rules of evidence and the pitfalls of cross-examination? Can you maintain sincerity as a witness and state facts impartially so you are credible?

Private Investigator Communications skills

Can you speak effectively to people Private Investigator? Are you a good listener? Can you use public relations skills to "sell" yourself? Does your physical appearance communicate professionalism and confidence Private Investigator?

Private Investigator Passion and purpose

Do you have a burning desire to learn and become a private investigator? Do you feel a deep purpose and meaning in entering the private investigation field? Have you always thought that you would make a good Private investigator?

No doubt you did very well on some items, and perhaps not so well on others. Your strengths will give you an advantage immediately. Your weaknesses can easily be overcome with study and practice. That's what this course is all about.

Private Investigator Certification

Private investigation, like other professions, has levels of achievement and recognition based upon experience. This achievement is recognized through certification, the purpose of which is to establish a professionally recognized standard. Certification provides special recognition of performance and investigative skill development that attests to your years of experience as a private investigator Private Investigator.

Included in this illustration is a business card of a private investigator operating in California. (Sorry, only viewable in PDF file format)

Notice after his name are the initials "CPP, CFE, CPI." These stand for "American Society for Industrial Security, National Association of Fraud Examiners, and Certified Professional Investigator." There are approximately twelve to fifteen professional certification programs available to experienced investigators as they proceed through their careers.

The requirements for certification vary from program to program. Generally, the investigator must have two years work experience as a full-time investigator. The programs require you to take a written and oral examination. Private Investigator. Some require that you complete an accredited college, school or training program, such as DTI. Other certification programs require that you prepare a paper of at least 1000 words on any investigative subject.

Terms Applicable to Private Investigation. Private Investigator.

The following terms are used throughout your course. These terms are specifically relevant to the aspects of conducting work or assignments.

Private Investigator Skill.

In this course, you will develop many new skills that will increase your ability to investigate a wide range of cases. Skills are something you learn to do. They are competencies that you will develop as a result of training, experience, and/or education.

Private Investigator Investigative Technique

The investigative technique is the process of combining many investigative skills in carrying out an assignment. Some investigations only require using one investigative technique, such as surveillance, while other assignments require multiple techniques, such as conducting a surveillance, then conducting a telephone pretext call, then using video equipment to document the incident.

Private Investigator Task

This is the actual undertaking of the assignment involving labor or difficulty. It does not necessarily involve skill or investigative technique.

Private Investigator Knowledge

Knowledge provides awareness, familiarity, and understanding of such things as laws, crimes, equipment, tricks of the trade, etc., that will increase your well-rounded awareness of private investigation.

Private Investigator Procedural Steps

Many investigations, such as legal investigations, insurance investigations, missing person investigations, fraud investigations, etc., require a particular course of action or sequential steps to follow to complete the assignment. It is the established way of carrying out assignments. The procedural steps may require using your skill, investigative technique, knowledge, or a combination of all three. Many investigations are inherently complex. Some procedural steps cannot be executed until other steps have been completed first, or carried out in parallel. Should the procedures be out of sync with each other, the whole investigation may be jeopardized. Pay particular attention to the procedural steps outlined in your training course. This is the backbone of conducting all investigations.

Private Investigator. Assignments. Also Known as Investigations or Cases

The whole investigative assignment process begins when a client has a need to fulfill. The need may be to investigate an internal theft, conduct a background check, find a missing person, or obtain an unlisted telephone number. Assignments are directed at achieving specific results. They can be simple and entail carrying out only one activity, or complex, entailing many related activities. An assignment is a system--that is, a whole made up of interrelated parts or procedural steps. Assignments are undertaken in a finite period of time. They are temporary. They have reasonably well-defined beginnings, middles, and ends. When the assignment goals are achieved, the assignment ends. While many assignments may be similar, each is, to a degree, a one-of-a-kind undertaking.

Private Investigator Talent

Investigative talents are natural capabilities or appear to be. It's possible to describe one or another private investigator as having a talent for surveillance, or a "nose" for facts, or an uncanny ability to use the equipment. In most cases, the talent is actually maximized through learning and practice. You can maximize your talents by developing investigative skills around them. You will find that the more you use your talents, the easier your work will be.

A major obstacle to developing your talents is unnecessarily struggling through every case in the false belief that you are the only one having this difficulty.

You can let go of the struggle by believing that the investigative problems you constantly face are the norm, and are present in every detective agency and faced by every private investigator.

As you progress through your course, determine your likes and dislikes and what skills seem to come easily to you. These are the ones which will naturally develop into talent, and will eventually lead to expertise in that particular area of investigation.

Private Investigator Determining Your Investigative Interests

As you proceed through your training, you will learn how to investigate many different assignments. You will also be exposed to many investigative techniques, technological equipment, and skills used by today's professionals. This process will give you a chance to determine your likes and dislikes, as well as your strengths, weakness, talents, and skills. Some students show talent in surveillance, following people, and employing trickery. Others develop talent using telephone pretexts, interviewing subjects, finding missing persons, and skip tracing.

Many also like working for insurance companies, or investigating workmen's comp cases, since the work is consistent and steady. Retired or ex-law enforcement students like dealing with the criminal aspect of the private investigation, internal theft, narcotics, arson, fraud, and make good witnesses since they have years of experience testifying in court. Or, you may enjoy working with attorneys in pre-trial preparation. This course will help you decide your own special interests and where you would most like to work, in a corporation, an insurance company, an investigative agency, or independently.

But, no matter what area or combination of areas where your strengths and interests lie, there is one absolutely necessary common denominator for the entire detective profession: private investigators collect factual information. Without information, there are no cases, and there is no success. Private Investigators obtain information from three main sources people, records, and physical evidence. And, they use a variety of investigative techniques, procedural steps, confidential sources and equipment to assist in its gathering. The process is fascinating, as the assembling of information ultimately leads to the successful conclusion of cases.

As you proceed through your DTI training, pay close attention to the "Records Used In...". These are condensed outlines of the procedural steps for specific investigations. And, as you learn about these procedural steps, investigative techniques, and equipment, ask yourself, "What information can be obtained using these methods?" By the end of your training, you will have developed professionally to the point where you can work very effectively as a new private investigator. You will know how to obtain information on any incident, person, or past event by paying close attention to the techniques you learn in this course.

You are about to begin a most challenging, gratifying chapter in your professional life. We wish you good luck and look forward to the day when you can proudly say you have completed DTI's training and are ready to begin your new career.

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