When it comes to hiring a private detective, one of the first things that you would be taking in to account is the private investigator cost. This is because even though they might have a standard rate that they seem to charge all their clients, their fees would also depend on the nature of the task at hand. This is because if the private detective feels that their project requires more discretion and a greater amount of risk, then it would be pretty normal that they would be charging more from their clients. This is something which is pure basic knowledge. This is because with money being the biggest motivator, they would be able to give it their best shot in solving the problem of the client.
On the other hand, private investigator cost is something which would need to be borne for an extended amount of time. This is because you would need to keep availing their services until you feel that your problem has been solved. Since this is something which would not be solved overnight, the budgeting and calculation would need to be done in advance. In this way, you will be able to determine if it indeed would be feasible to hire a private detective for your problem at hand.
Therefore, when it comes to determining private investigator cost, you might find yourself to be at a loss. Since this is something which you are encountering for the first time in your life, you do not seem to have even the basic idea about what you should be expecting. So, in order to make matters easier upon yourself, we have taken the initiative of doing the research. Read on below to know more about these.
The charging of a flat fee for services
In terms of hiring a private detective, you will be able to find that there are some standard services which seem to be provided by almost all detectives. This includes carrying out background checks, using specialized equipment such as GPS units, and conducting research work. Due to the generic nature of these tasks, the private investigator cost is pretty simple and straightforward to determine. This is because they seem to charge a flat fee from their clients for availing these services.
Amongst the other services which are included in this category are as follows:
- Getting a cell phone number identified
- Finding out the number and license plate of a vehicle
- Searching for criminal records
- Doing a bug sweep of a car or a home
- GPS monitoring.
Hourly fees of the private detective
On the other hand, if your problem is slightly more complex and requires the private detective to dedicate more time towards it, then the private investigator cost would be done in terms of charging hourly fees. Even though these seem to vary from one state to another, the average rate seems to be somewhere between $50 and $55 per hour. Again, this rate is also likely to vary based on the difficulty of the investigation. In addition, if the private detective would require the assistance of other detectives, then this hourly rate would increase as well. You would be surprised to find that there are some private detectives who seem to charge $300 per hour. Now this is something which would seem like an exorbitant amount. However, the wisdom behind this price being charged would also need to be looked at. It might be that the private detective is extremely good at what they do. Not only that, but they also have an entire portfolio of successful cases to demand this kind of a fee from its clients.
Throughout the country, you will be able to find the hourly rates ranging from $40-$100 per hour. Again, this is bound to increase if several other expenses are included in the total bill. One of the most common expenses which seem to arise is the gas bill.
The requirement of a retainer or deposition in addition to the hourly fees
In addition to the afore-mentioned types of private investigator cost, there also seems to exist a third category. This is because some private detectives require that a retainer amount be paid against the expense of the services being provided to the client. This amount is dependent on the kind of case which is being handled. For instance, in normal and everyday cases, the retainer amount being asked for would be pretty low. On the other hand, if it is a high priority case, then the amount can go up to $5,000. On the other hand, criminal defense work would require somewhere between $1,000 and $3,000.
In addition, there are some other factors involved as well. These are as follows:
- The amount of travel involved
- Hotel and travel expenses
- Estimated number of surveillance hours required
- The urgency of the situation at hand
- The location of the investigation or the problem.
On the other hand, if you are going to hire a private investigator through your attorney, then it would be quite likely that they would not ask for this retainer amount. This would be based on the assumption that the attorney would be bearing full responsibility for handling the expenses of the client.
So, that brings us to the end of the discussion regarding private investigator cost. Another thing that you should specify is that the detective keeps a written record of all the services which are being provided as well as the expenses being borne. In addition, it is highly recommended that you do not get in to the relationship before getting a contract made and signed. Thanks to this contract, it would be clear of the duties and responsibilities which are expected of both the parties. Not only that, but it would also be easier to refer back to a hard copy document in case any sort of confusion arises. Therefore, based on all these calculations, you will be able to determine which costing method would seem to be the most applicable in your case.