Private Investigators -- The Truth Behind the Fiction

It's time to dispel a myth - the life of a private investigator is hardly a glamorous one, like that of Sherlock Holmes. It's difficult, diverse and it takes a lot of effort, explains Massachusetts veteran private investigator David Almeida. He goes on to

By David Almeida, LPI
Updated: January 15, 2015

Many people think of various television heroes upon the mention of the words private investigator. Old gum shoes from the 40s and 50s with their feet up on the desk waiting for a damsel in distress to enter their offices.

Over the years, assorted television shows like Magnum P. I., Spencer for Hire, and a string of Sherlock Holmes and other famous detective movies have built an image in the minds of many about what a private investigator is.

The generated fantasies are romantic, thrilling and sometimes violent. The excitement and drama draws us to the show, week after week to see what our hero will do in the next situation. To solve the case.

In real life, however, a private investigator's job is never like the Hollywood versions. Though often exciting, and occasionally scary, a private investigator's job is diverse and sometimes extremely difficult.

Frankly, much of it comes down to extreme dedication and countless hours spent sifting through mountains of documents or late evenings poking through obscure databases, hoping to find that one shred of evidence needed by our current client.

Dedication. That's what sums it up. A private investigator's job requires countless hours in any investigation. Unfortunately, most people these days have encountered law enforcement agencies to one degree or another. In some fashion, most people are extremely shocked and frustrated by the lack of time that law enforcers dedicate to their scenario.

But the fact is, many law enforcement agencies simply do not have the manpower. And this is only in regard to criminal matters.

But what is one to do when faced with some sort of civil matter, requiring evidence gathering or surveillance of the opposing party? Without experience, taking on the task yourself is not productive, and can certainly be harmful. In some cases.

This is primarily where today's private investigator becomes your eyes and ears.

In the state of Massachusetts, a private investigator must have three years of credible experience in order to obtain a state license. In fact, licenses are issued directly through the Massachusetts State police special licensing unit. Background checks are done and qualifications verified.

Still, how you find the right private investigator for your case? For most people, it's simply a matter of opening up the local phone book and calling the first number they find. Does the fact that the person on the other end of that phone have the capacity to place a yellow page ad qualify them to handle your case?

Though there are strict licensing requirements, as in any field, there are extremely gifted investigators and then some who don't perform well.

So when choosing a private investigator for your case, here are a few simple suggestions:

  • Interview your potential investigator.
  • Ask about previous successes.
  • Ask about failures.
  • Inquire about their longevity in the industry.
  • Ask for references. If you're uncertain, verify the references.

The bottom line is this. When choosing a private investigator, you must find the correct one for your case. Someone that specializes in the type of investigation you require. So the higher the RPI, you have to do a little investigating yourself at first.

In the end, you'll be glad that she did, because if you choose the right investigator, you are more likely to achieve the outcome that you desire.

If you choose badly, which happens frequently, not only will you and your case suffer the consequences. You may also find yourself with a large bill and not much to show for it.

Qualified, well-trained, highly motivated, investigators get the job done. They work long hours, all the while consumed mentally by the aspect of providing the very best service.

Whether you're facing criminal conviction, or believe that your spouse is cheating on you, a qualified private investigator can help.


David Almeida, the president of Bay State Detective Agency Inc., has over 16 years of experience as a licensed Private Detective. 

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March 05, 2007
Categories:  General

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