Private investigators and detectives are critical to the field of law enforcement. Without these professionals, we would not be able to solve crimes and discover important facts related to a case. Although they fall into the same career field, private investigators and detectives are not one and the same. Both of these professions differ in many ways. If you have been debating whether you should hire a private investigator or detective, we provide all the information you need to help you make a decision. 

What Private Investigators Do  

A private investigator is responsible for conducting investigations to discover facts about legal, financial, or personal matters. Private investigators can be self-employed, but most of these professionals work for investigative services, insurance companies, or local governments. Private investigators can be tasked with several kinds of investigations. 

What Police Detectives Do

Police detectives are members of the police force. Detectives are assigned a case, they answer to their superiors, while also offering security services. These professionals are mostly responsible for investigating crimes, determining the perpetrator, and why the crime happened. They work closely with witnesses and suspects to piece together clues and evidence. 

When to Hire a Private Investigator

Background Checks

Private investigators are often hired to conduct thorough background checks. Most people who hire PIs are those who are looking to hire a new employee or bring potential business partners on board. Even if you discover a negative background on your potential work partner or employee, you can walk away full aware with help from a private investigator. 

Missing Persons

When taking a missing person’s case to the police, all they can really do is file a report. A private investigator will do the searching and investigating to find a missing person’s whereabouts and best case, find them. Choosing to hire a private investigator in a missing person case increases the likelihood of a successful return to the person’s family. 

Finding Hidden Assets

People have discovered that right before signing off on the divorce, a spouse was hiding assets. Because of this, private investigators are hired to:

  • Look for digital footprints in hidden assets
  • Track down storage units
  • Look into the spouse’s family

If you and your spouse are considering divorce, you may want to consider discovering if there are any hidden assets. 

Divorce Cases

Following hidden assets, private investigators are also high in demand when it comes to general divorce cases. Private investigators can be hired to discover infidelity in a marriage, check for a stalker or an abusive ex, and many other instances. Sometimes, private investigators are hired to serve a spouse’s legal papers if they have been avoiding signing divorce documents. 

Child Custody

Child custody is an important issue that can arise during and after a divorce case. Should one of the parties feel that their ex-spouse is violating the terms of child custody, a private investigator can confirm this. A private investigator can also be hired in the case that your spouse does not want to comply with child custody terms. 

When to Hire a Detective

Private Armed Security 

In an ongoing case, the person who hired the detective could receive ongoing threats. A detective can work to help study the threats and get the police involved. A detective works closely with superiors and police officers, so they can ensure that their colleagues are working to protect you from danger. 

Community Safety

Detectives can provide safety at all levels including local, state, and federal. This means a detective can also provide more protection for a community by looking into local crimes and solving them as soon as possible. Even more, police detectives can make arrests. Private investigators cannot make arrests. This is one of the biggest and most notable differences between the two professions. 

Testifying in Court

Because a detective was assigned to your case, they can be extremely helpful in court. Detectives are often tasked with criminal cases such as:

  • Murder
  • Robbery
  • Burglary
  • Auto theft
  • Drug or sex crimes

 After compiling information or evidence, they are responsible for writing an official report. This report can also be helpful in court. 

Hire The Trained Professionals from Night Eyes

Now that you know which scenarios call for either a detective or a private investigator, you can make your choice with confidence. Our El Paso security and investigators are always ready to work with you. Give us a call at (915) 351-0831 to learn more.

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