Why You Need to Hire a Licensed PI
The State of California licenses private investigators through the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services. If you need private investigative services, it behooves you to hire a PI firm that is properly licensed. Without a proper PI license, you don’t know what you’re getting, and you’re likely to wind up in a much worse position. At best, you’ll be wasting time and money. At worst, you could find yourself civilly and even criminally liable for abetting unlawful conduct.
Unlicensed PIs Cannot Investigate in California
California has a private investigator licensing scheme. PIs can only operate either with a license or under the supervision of a licensed PI. Unlicensed people are not permitted to set up their own private investigation business. If you hire an unlicensed person claiming to be a PI, they are already engaging in deceptive and unlawful practices, and their work is likely to reflect that tendency.
Hiring a Licensed PI Guarantees Training and Experience
Obtaining a PI license in California requires more than completing an online certification form. Licensed PIs must have the requisite education, training, and experience. Applicants for a PI license must obtain a law degree, a four-year political science or law degree, or a two-year associate’s degree in criminal justice or criminal law.
The degree they possess affects the level of experience necessary to procure a license. Applicants without a degree must complete at least three years of professional investigative experience, including 6,000 hours of paid investigative work. An applicant with an associate’s degree must complete 2.5 years of investigative experience. Applicants with a four-year degree require two years of investigative experience. Investigative experience can come in the form of law enforcement, military police, or performing investigative work under a licensed PI.
The significant education and experience requirements ensure that when you hire a licensed PI, you’re getting someone who is actually qualified to do the job. They will know how to properly and efficiently conduct an investigation, rather than spinning their wheels or sitting around unsure of where to start. A licensed PI knows the proper databases to search, how to collect evidence that is actually usable in a court of law, and how to generally conduct an investigation that is geared toward unearthing the information clients actually need.
Hiring a Licensed PI Guarantees Professionalism
One of the most important parts of PI licensing is regulating the behavior of private investigators. Without a license, many self-styled “investigators” see themselves as vigilantes, private detectives who are free to flout the law in the pursuit of their clients’ interests. In reality, they do much more harm than good to their clients, themselves, and society.
Licensed PIs are not permitted to unlawfully invade people’s privacy and are not permitted to use fraud or deception in collecting information. Employing fraud or deception in collecting evidence is a great way to collect evidence that is simply unusable in court, to the detriment of clients. Licensed PIs are not permitted to break the law generally without risking their license. PIs must, in fact, pass a criminal background check in order to obtain their license.
The purpose of the license is to ensure that people who work as PIs are qualified, trained, and of sound mind. Many criminal cases have been brought against freelance “investigators” who employ violence or underhanded means to obtain information. Not only are those people dangerous to the public; they are harmful to their client’s interests. Clients who hire a PI who then employs violence or other unlawful means to collect evidence could find themselves liable for the injury or damage caused, not to mention without any usable intelligence or evidence.
If you are performing due diligence in advance of a settlement, gathering evidence for pending litigation, working to establish a financial profile, or trying to locate a missing party, Millennium Intelligence Agency is ready to offer you vital support. Call our dedicated and talented legal investigative team today at 213-986-9888 for efficient and effective intelligence-gathering services.