Laurels

Best Private Investigators
2022

The Best Private Investigators
Here Are The Top Private Investigators
Beau Dietl & Associates

Beau Dietl & Associates

Beau Dietl & Associates is a leading private investigation firm based out of New York City that provides fast, discreet and reliable service using the latest information-gathering and security technology. They specialize in investigations and intelligence, insurance, and security. The firm offers a very broad array of services that range from asset recovery to executive protection to polygraph tests. The agency's founder and CEO, Bo Dietl, is a well-known security and investigation expert with many high-profile endorsements and media appearances.

New York City, NY 10119

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Long Island Investigations

Long Island Investigations

Long Island Investigations is an investigative and detective agency that has been serving Nassau and Suffolk counties for more than 30 years. Long Island Investigations’ investigators are all former NYPD detectives who are highly skilled, qualified and focused on getting the job done right. The agency specializes in surveillance, matrimonial, pre-marital investigations, private and personal security, and child custody.

Massapequa Park, NY 11762

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International Investigative Group

International Investigative Group

International Investigative Group is a family-owned and operated company in New York City. Private investigators at this firm are dedicated to helping their clients resolve difficult situations like uncovering misdemeanors in a company or gathering evidence for cases. This firm offers all-around security and investigation services such as surveillance, personal investigation, and financial fraud investigation. Established in 1990, this company has handled over 10,000 cases and has been named one of the top 15 investigators in the United States.

Rockville Centre, NY 11570

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CPI Investigations

CPI Investigations

CPI Investigations is a private investigation firm in Manhattan, New York that provides services in all 50 states as well as to other parts of the globe. The firm specializes in polygraph/lie detection tests, personal and corporate protection, surveillance, background checks, and electronic eavesdropping protection, as well as litigation support and case assistance. CPI Investigations is proud to be affiliated with the American Association of Police Polygraphists, American Polygraph Association, and The PI Group, among other organizations.

New York City, NY 10011

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American Eagle Investigations

American Eagle Investigations

American Eagle Investigations is an investigative company in New York City that has been serving individuals and businesses for 20 years. The company offers domestic and civil investigations, background checks, insurance fraud investigations, and attorney services. American Eagle Investigations is also associated with American Society for Industrial Security, The American Polygraph Association, and the National Association of Investigative Specialists.

New York City, NY 10004

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J.T. Mullen Private Investigator

J.T. Mullen Private Investigator

J.T. Mullen Private Investigator is a firm in Manhattan, New York that has been providing comprehensive and innovative investigative services for more than 40 years. They specialize in corporate financial investigations, protective services, asset searches, and custody challenges. J.T. Mullen Private Investigator has acquired impressive testimonials and recognition from Crain’s, the New York Post, New York Law Journal, among other outlets.

New York City, NY 10007

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RQ Investigations

RQ Investigations

RQ Investigations is a leading private investigation firm in New York City that offers quality service at affordable rates. This professional and multi-lingual firm specializes in background investigations, criminal defense investigations, surveillance, and school district services. RQ Investigations is fully licensed and insured and employs highly trained investigators who use cutting-edge technologies to achieve satisfactory results.

New York City, NY 10019

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Gross Investigation Bureau, LLC

Gross Investigation Bureau, LLC

New York City-based Gross Investigation Bureau, LLC, offers private investigative services to organizations and individuals. The experienced staff consisting of forensic examiners, private investigators, analysts, engineers, and electronic technicians has the same goal, which is to deliver quality information research, collection, and analysis. They also specialize in obtaining proof of information. Services include surveillance, witness interview, and forensic investigation. This agency also specializes in missing person, relationship, background, and incident investigations.

New York, NY 10001

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Investigative Solutions LLC

Investigative Solutions LLC

Investigative Solutions LLC is a Manhattan-based private investigation agency that serves the New York and New Jersey area. This full-service agency offers services such as surveillance, background checks, GPS tracking, and computer forensics, among others. Investigative Solutions LLC is also associated with Society of Former Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, NCISS, NJLPIA, and Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE).

New York City, NY 10001

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AAA Investigations & Consulting, Inc.

AAA Investigations & Consulting, Inc.

AAA Investigations & Consulting, Inc. is a licensed and bonded private investigation company in New York, New York that offers quality investigative services and consultations at unbeatable prices. They have a range of specialties, which include criminal cases, cheating spouses, corporate investigations, and business practices. AAA Investigations & Consulting, Inc. also provides attorney referral services and in-house legal counseling.

New York City, NY 10036

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Expert Answers To Common Questions:

  1. Introduction
  2. What is a private investigator?
  3. Are private detectives real?
  4. What do private investigators do?
  5. How do private investigators work?
  6. What is a private investigator allowed to do?
  7. Are private investigators legal?
  8. How much does a private investigator cost?
  9. Are private investigators worth it?
  10. Do private investigators have badges?
  11. Why would a private investigator be looking for me?
  12. How do I get rid of a private investigator?
  13. Can private investigators be charged with stalking?
  14. Can you sue someone for hiring a private investigator?
  15. How do I become a private investigator?
  16. What does it take to be a private investigator?
  17. How do I get a private investigator license?
  18. How long does it take to become a private investigator?
  19. How much do private investigators make?
Q: Introduction
A:
Some cases grow cold without ever getting solved by the police, and others tend to be too unorthodox for the police since they're mainly limited to criminal cases. This is where private investigators come in.

Private investigators, also known as PIs, offer a wide range of services, including finding missing persons, tracking marital infidelity, investigating theft, running background checks, verifying insurance claims, and collecting debts on behalf of their clients.

PIs work on any case requiring extensive research and investigation. Their duties range from gathering vital facts and connecting clues to providing conclusive information regarding the case.
Q: What is a private investigator?
A:
Private investigators are experienced individuals hired to carry out detective work. They are fact-finding experts who dedicate time and effort to gather evidence and reveal information that would be difficult to gain through ordinary means. Private investigators can either operate alone or work for an agency.
Q: Are private detectives real?
A:
Yes, private investigators are real. They provide their expertise to anyone who needs an in-depth investigation for an important matter. Whether tracking a long-lost loved one, running background checks, finding missing persons, or conducting general research, private detectives operate with discretion and rarely make the news.
Q: What do private investigators do?
A:
PI work involves a lot of information gathering and fact analysis. Their field assignments involve carefully following persons of interest, conducting surveillance, interviewing people, and, sometimes, going undercover to get more information. They use GPS tracking devices, video recorders, computers, and other technology to collect information.
Q: How do private investigators work?
A:
Private investigators’ ability to conduct examinations and close cases without their targets knowing their involvement makes them very effective. A PI firm may have different personnel, each specializing in a particular field. From computer experts to web-data analysts and field officers, these agents work together to solve cases or complete an objective.
Q: What is a private investigator allowed to do?
A:
PIs are civilians, so they're required to operate within the confines of the law. Private investigators search multiple online databases, public records, and open source files to collect information. However, they cannot bug phones or hack into online accounts to acquire protected information. They can conduct surveillance on people in public places, but they can't trespass into their homes or property.
Q: Are private investigators legal?
A:
It's completely legal to hire a private investigator. The operations of licensed private investigators are also legal and protected by the law. They are, however, subject to scrutiny and strict regulations that ensure they conduct investigations with professionalism and ethics.
Q: How much does a private investigator cost?
A:
The cost of hiring a private investigator depends on the service you need. Most PIs have a fixed rate for services, such as background checks, GPS tracking, record searches, and debt collection, ranging from $50 to $300 or more per day. For complex assignments, including finding missing persons, tracking infidelity, or locating long-lost relatives, the PI may charge per hour or ask for a retainer. On average, a private investigator will cost around $50 to $200 per hour.
Q: Are private investigators worth it?
A:
Private detectives are well trained and experienced in performing investigations and surveillance without risking exposure. The information they gather can be difficult for an average person to obtain. Hiring a private investigator could provide valuable information, but whether that knowledge is worthwhile depends on your individual needs.
Q: Do private investigators have badges?
A:
Private investigators are not law enforcement and, in most cases, will refrain from revealing their identity to maintain a low profile. For identification and to confirm their official status, PIs carry a badge and a private investigator’s license.
Q: Why would a private investigator be looking for me?
A:
A private investigator may contact you if:
  • You are a witness. You might know a person or have information relevant to their investigation.
  • Someone is looking for you. It may be a subpoena for an ongoing case, long-lost family, or friends from your past.
  • An insurance company needs to verify and authenticate insurance claims.
Q: How do I get rid of a private investigator?
A:
Private investigators are not easily recognized. However, if you suspect you are being watched or followed, the best option is to call the police and not confront them. It's also advisable to stay indoors until the issue gets resolved since they don't have permission to trespass into your home.
Q: Can private investigators be charged with stalking?
A:
A licensed private investigator can conduct surveillance, record, and even follow suspects. The license gives them a permissible purpose, and they can do so without their actions being regarded as stalking. As long as they don’t intimidate or invade a person's privacy, it's within the confines of the law, and they cannot be charged. If you have concerns about someone who may be a PI, contact the police to discuss your options.
Q: Can you sue someone for hiring a private investigator?
A:
Hiring a private investigator is legal, and you cannot sue someone for hiring one to get information on you. However, if there have been instances of invasion of personal space, harassment, or intimidation, you can sue both the PI and the client for damages incurred.
Q: How do I become a private investigator?
A:
While there are no fixed academic qualifications for becoming a private investigator, having education and knowledge of the criminal justice system is essential. This enables the investigators to know their limitations without breaking the law. Additionally, most states require PIs to obtain a private investigator's license, which is reviewed regularly to ensure compliance.
Q: What does it take to be a private investigator?
A:
Curiosity, persuasion, patience, and the ability to analyze information are all traits required for a successful career as a private investigator. Their work involves interviewing people, observing, and gathering information. This makes the qualities above very important for success in the profession. Having previous experience in law enforcement is also helpful.
Q: How do I get a private investigator license?
A:
Different states have different regulations and requirements before issuing a license. Some of the most common qualifications include completing a private investigation course, two years of work experience, no previous criminal record, and weapons permit for armed personnel. Private investigators are also regularly tested to ensure the validity of their certification.
Q: How long does it take to become a private investigator?
A:
The most direct path for this career is getting a bachelor's degree in criminal justice, which usually takes four years. Then take a one-year internship in an investigative firm to gain hands-on experience. Having done this, you can count yourself as a private investigator.
Q: How much do private investigators make?
A:
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual median wage for private investigators in 2020 was $53,320. Entry-level private investigators with only a high school diploma earn around $30,000, while those with a criminal justice bachelor's degree and over five years of experience make up to $84,000 annually.