What is a Private Investigator and what can they do?

Private investigators are individuals that are hired by the public or corporation to find evidence and report their findings. Whenever facts are in question, Investigators can confirm or verify  those facts. In Ontario, Private Investigators and their agencies are licenced by the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services. a PI can help with cases ranging from personal relationship issues, all the way to high profile corporate issues. Some firms, like Focus, offer extra services like court processing service and full background checks. 

Who hires a Private Investigator?

Anyone may hire a PI. The most common clients are people of the general public with personal matters however, business often hire a PI for things like loss prevention, quality control and employee integrity. The government has also been known to contract cases like workplace safety and licence standards to various Private Investigation Firms. 

What should I do before hiring a PI

The most important thing to consider when hiring a PI, like any contractor, is to verify that they are licenced and insured to provide the business they offer. A PI not only has to be licenced but the agency he or she works for must also be licenced. Clients can verify a licenced agency or individual with The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services. The next thing that one should consider is the professionalisim of the agency they are considering. Do they have a full website with a ".com" type web address? Do they include an address on that website? A client can ask to see the licence of the agency and the individual PI. 

How much does a PI charge?

Speaking strictly for Focus Investigations, we offer two types of pricing. For "per use" services like court process serving or background checks, we offer a set rate to all of our clients. 

For other types of investigations like surveillance, interviews, site visits and loss prevention, typically there is an hourly rate involved and sometimes a retainer or deposit is required. 

Every case and its requirements are different, therefore cost may vary quite a but between cases so Focus offers free consultation to all clients. The best way to get an accurate quote is to call or meet with an investigator to discuss your needs. 

How do you follow someone without them noticing?

At Focus, our investigators are trained and experienced in many techniques related to tailing "targets" both in vehicles and on foot. For times that there is more than one investigator tailing one ore more targets, constant two way communication between those investigators is used. Using different vehicles and even disguises are just a couple of variables that we use on a regular basis. 

Why do I need a PI if I already have an attorney?

Most attorneys specialize in the practice of the law and represent clients in legal matters.  They are not necessarily experienced with conducting private investigations and will frequently hire or ask the client to hire the services of a licensed private investigator.  Generally, if you have an attorney, and you retain the services of a private investigator through your attorney, the investigator's work product becomes shielded from disclosure to adversaries.  If the attorney/investigator relationship is properly established, the investigator's involvement in a case and participation is privileged communication and  is generally protected from disclosure.  If you decide to hire a private investigator on your own and you have an attorney, the results of the private investigator's work can be reviewed by your attorney for possible consideration in your case.  You can hire a private investigator on your own or have your attorney hire one for you.