Copyright 2009-2019
South District Investigations
California License PI 26535, PIB 5653
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Professional Memberships
  • California Association of Licensed Investigators (CALI)
  • California Defense Investigator Association (CDIA)
  • Professional Investigators of California (PICA)
  • National Council of Investigation and Security Services (NCISS)
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q. Do private investigators need to be licensed in California?

A. Yes. Private investigators must be licensed in California with some exceptions.

 

Q. How do I verify if a company is licensed as a private investigator company in California?

A. You can check the status if a license at the Bureau of Security & Investigative Services by visiting: https://search.dca.ca.gov/

 

Q. What/how do private investigators charge?

A. Most private investigators charge an hourly rate. Depending on the scope of the services, a retainer fee may be required.

 

Q. I’ve already contacted law enforcement related to a crime, can I still contract a private investigator?

A. Yes. However, we want to make sure that we do not do anything to hinder a law enforcement investigation.

 

Q. Is my case considered confidential?

A. Yes. All information we receive is considered confidential and will only certain information will be released to appropriate parties to successfully conduct an investigation.

 

Q. Can you run a license plate or vehicle identification number?

A. Yes. We can check not only vehicle records but driving records as well. We will only do this for lawful purposes such as pursuant to an investigation to identify the owner of a vehicle.

 

Q. How do I know if the investigator is actually working on my case?

A. We keep very detailed logs of the work we perform such as: logging vehicle mileage, documenting specific dates and times, giving updates on your case, and much more.

 

Q. Can private investigators get phone records or access to other party’s emails?

A. No. If the other party does not consent, these items are considered private.

 

Q. Do private investigators have access to government records?

A. We have ways to obtain certain records through public records act requests or Freedom of Information Act requests. We may also obtain records through subpoena where warranted.

 

Q. Can I hire a private investigator even though I have an attorney?

A. Yes. However, we want to assure we work closely with the attorney so that we do not jeopardize the case. It is important that both the attorney and investigator work closely together.

 

Q. How fast can a private investigator start to work on my case?

A. Generally, we would like at least 24 hours notice. We understand that there may be times to have an investigator immediately available. We try to make our staff available 24/7 because of the nature of some of the work we do.

 

Q. How do you accept payments?

A. We accept payment by credit card, cashiers check, money order, and personal checks.

 

Q. How do I start a case with you?

A. Contact us to speak with an investigator. The initial consultation is free. We will have some questions for you to determine the course to pursue a case. You can also submit an online case review at: https://www.sdinvestigations.org/request.

 

Q. Can you put a GPS tracking device on a vehicle?

A. Yes and No. If the registered owner gives permission, then yes. If there are 2 registered owners, BOTH must give consent unless it is registered to xxxx OR xxxx. If it’s registered to xxxx AND xxxx, then both must consent. We will not install a tracking device without the legal owner's knowledge.