Common Mistakes Attorneys Make When Hiring an Investigator

Defense attorneys require evidence demonstrating their clients’ innocence, but finding this evidence can be challenging and time-consuming. This is why some lawyers hire a private investigator (PI) — so they can concentrate on the legal aspects of the case. 

Generally, private investigators have the skills and experience to do investigations better than attorneys. Unfortunately, some attorneys make big mistakes when hiring a private investigator. These blunders can result in the lawyer’s client losing money and possibly their freedom.

This guide explores the most common mistakes to avoid when hiring a private investigator.

Failing to Inquire About Their Previous Cases

There are all sorts of investigation cases, including homicide, cyber crimes, forensic investigations, fraud, narcotics, and many others. As a result, each PI tends to specialize in a specific area.

When you interview private investigators, many of them will boast about their experience. However, you won’t know their area of specialization if you forget to ask about their previous cases. Consequently, the PI you hire may have never investigated cases similar to the one you are hiring them to work on.

Not Checking the Background of the Private Investigator

Some attorneys don’t conduct a background check on private investigators before hiring them. As a result, they fail to determine whether the PI has a legal license. These attorneys also won’t know when the private investigator started operating as a company.

A background check enables you to get to know the person or company that will be working on your case. For example, you should know their training and education history. 

Hiring a Private Investigator Without a Face-to-Face Meeting

It’s unwise to hire a person before meeting them in person at their office. A face-to-face meeting is the best way to confirm that they are successful enough to have a team and an office. The state of their office is also an indication of their level of organization, professionalism, and integrity. For instance, if documents are left out in the open, it might mean they don’t know how to protect sensitive information.

Begin by searching for a physical address on their website. If you can’t find the address, that is a red flag, and you should move on to the next applicant. 

Choosing a Private Investigator Because They Have Low Fees

Conducting a successful investigation comes with several expenses. For example, private investigators need state-of-the-art data servers to protect client information. In addition, they need encrypted communication devices that may be costly.

While you may have a tight budget and are trying to minimize costs, you shouldn’t hire a PI just because they charge the lowest fees. Such an investigator is likely to cut corners and do shoddy investigations. For instance, they may use the simplest and generic way to store private information, including storing sensitive data off-site. 

Hiring an Unreachable Private Investigator

You should be in constant communication with the private investigator throughout the entirety of the case. So, you need someone you can easily reach on the phone. In addition, a qualified PI should promptly call you when they have found something that can impact the case.

It is a mistake to hire a PI who doesn’t pick up your calls or call back when you first reach out. It would also be best to avoid private investigators who use chatbots or outsource answering call services.

You should hire a private investigator with the following communication tools:

  • Email
  • Telephones (smartphones, landline phones, and internet calling)
  • Online collaboration tools, such as Microsoft Teams
  • Video and web conferencing

Hiring a Private Investigation With No Legal Background

A private investigator will do many of the tasks that lawyers do. This means that a PI should have a deep understanding of the law before working with a law firm. For instance, they should know how to interview witnesses or spot specific law violations. They should also be able to testify in court professionally. 

A private investigator with no legal background may collect evidence that is not admissible in court. For instance, the private investigator may find and reveal hidden information but violate local, state, or federal laws in the process.

Get Started

Barefoot Professional Investigations is your trusted private investigator in the Carolinas. Our main services include finding detailed documented evidence, installing hidden video surveillance cameras, and preparing digital evidence for legal proceedings. Our firm has been conducting background checks and surveillance for the last 35 years. 

Contact us today if you are interested in hiring a private investigator.

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