California Private Investigator
 CountyPrivate Investigator Near Me

Best Private investigator in California

Orange County, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, Santa Clara, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, Alameda County, Contra Costa, Fresno County, Santa Barbara County, San Joaquin County, Kern County, Sonoma County, San Mateo County, Stanislaus County, Tulare County, Solano County

The era of the slick PI who lacks morals and works out of a sleazy office with a beautiful secretary is over. Private investigators today frequently come from law enforcement or military backgrounds. Most are at the outset of their professional lives, while the rest have transitioned into private investigation after retiring.

A private investigator is a person who, among other things:

  • Investigates crimes.
  • Asset search
  • Determines a person’s identity, company, profession, character, etc.
  • Determines the whereabouts of a missing person or stolen property.
  • Specifies the reason for fires, setbacks, accidents, harm, or injury.
  • Involves gathering data for use in the trial.

Our team of private investigators is former Federal agents with the FBI, DEA, IRS, or Secret Service with over 50 years of experience. Thomas G. Martin and his team of former Federal agents have a proven track record of delivering results to our clients. Martin Investigative Services has been featured in National and Local publications, from the Los Angeles Times to the Wall Street Journal.

How to Choose a California Private Investigator

Private eyes are only allowed to provide security for people if it is a necessary part of an investigation; they aren’t allowed to guard personal property. A certified California private investigator<span data-preserver-spaces=”true”> (either an individual, a partnership, or a corporation). 

How much does it cost for a private investigator in California?

Hourly rates, as opposed to fixed fees, are the norm in many general investigations. General investigation services may cost anywhere from $100-$200 per hour, at the very least. 

Finding Hidden Assets

People are more likely to exaggerate their financial resources when working with the legal system. So long as they can keep these valuables hidden, they will. A competent private investigator can locate these funds and guarantee they are correctly presented in court.

Given the multifaceted nature of investigations, answering this question is challenging. Company costs are set at a level that reflects their level of expertise, the sophistication of their tools, and the time and effort they put into their work. Expert investigators may want a higher fee, but they may also complete the job more quickly or thoroughly for their clients.

However, other investigative firms use several databases to conduct their queries. It’s important to note that not all California private investigators come from a police department background. It’s important to note that not all private investigators have business backgrounds. While some private investigators operate solo, others lead teams of detectives. All these factors, in addition to the particulars of every case, contribute to the ultimate pricing structure that is settled. Some cases are significantly more complicated than others, but that is true in every case. 

Free consultation and an in-person meeting with many investigators are your best bet for getting an accurate quote (if they don’t provide a free consultation, look elsewhere).  

Advice: If you need more convincing that the company offering the cheapest quotation can complete your inquiry promptly and to your satisfaction, resist the urge to go with them. An introductory rate quoted over the telephone without understanding the details of your research should raise red flags. Similarly, be wary of anyone who guarantees a particular result.

Last but not least, while the price is undoubtedly a factor, it’s just as critical to choose an investigator with whom you feel comfortable and who demonstrates empathy for your predicament. Because of the frequency of your interactions, it’s essential that you feel at ease while speaking with your investigator.

Find below a breakdown of the variables determining the final price of engaging a private investigator in California. The prices are also clearly laid out in certain circumstances.


In California, retainers are fees paid in advance to a private investigator. Something like a deposit that you can use for services in the future. How much you have to pay depends on the organization, the location, and the specifics of your case. Make sure you know if a retainer charge is expected and how you’ll use it before agreeing to any further investigation.

Hourly charges

Private investigators typically bill their clients by the hour for services like monitoring and infidelity investigations. Time spent working times the hourly rate equals the final price. It is essential to get an agreement on a price before employing a private investigator because their hourly fees may fluctuate based on the circumstance.

Professional asset search and recovery private investigators may charge a flat fee or by the hour. These are unusual situations, and their complexity might range from retrieving a lost inheritance to dividing up assets during a divorce (and all in between). For this reason, most organizations deal with such requests on a case-by-case basis. 

Are private investigators legal in California?

All private investigators operating in California must obtain a license from the BSIS or the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services. 

Minimum requirements

  • To become a private investigator in California, you must be at least 18 years old.
  • Licensing Requirements: California does not offer provisional licensing.
  • Submitting a criminal background fingerprint check is required to verify your criminal record is clean.
  • When it comes to a military discharge, California law makes no exceptions.
  • Psychological Evaluation: California law does not mandate such a test for residents.
  • There are no mandatory disqualifications in the state of California.

What are private investigators allowed to do in California?

Private eyes are always in demand, and their services are used for anything from probing infidelity claims to assisting law enforcement with internet crime research and background checks.

Private eyes are always on the lookout for fairness, no matter the field or client they’re working to assist. For the benefit of their clients, they are compiling paperwork, gathering evidence, and conducting witness interviews. They’re also gaining a name for themselves as honest and dependable people.

Take away

Find the top Calfornia Private Investigators with this guide. Get started on your search and receive no-obligation price estimates right away. Looking for a PI for the first time and don’t know where to look? Call us at 1-800-577-1080 and leave the research to us. 

Let Us help you Bring Your peace back!

Private Investigation Near Me - PI Near Me

“Our team of private investigators are are ready to help you. Your privacy is important to us! Serving states nationally.

Client Testimonials

I’ve represented individuals and businesses (international and local) for close to fifty years, and I’ve called on Martin Investigative Services more times than I can count, often on a rush basis, for help throughout the world, on a number of different types of assignments.  I’ve never been disappointed.  I’ve always received swift, cost-effective and USEFUL information, which has wound up “saving the bacon” of our clients and making us shine in their eyes.  I recommend them without any reservation.

Peter M. Callahan

Attorney at Law Callahan Thompson Sherman & Caudill, LLP

Martin Investigative Services is truly one of the best run organizations we have worked with. Fair, efficient and professional. Tom Martin in particular exudes confidence and experience and isn’t afraid to tell it like it is. That’s something we can rely on.

Marcia Bankoff

Organizational Resources Specialist, Kreative Webworks, Inc.

Successful people know that to be the best, you model the best. I cannot recommend Martin PI any higher! In a five-minute conversation with experienced people you can save thousands by bypassing sales types. They do this by cutting directly to the heart based on years and years of passionate pursuit of best practices and adding massive value to their clients. They are an invaluable part of my team and Tom is my most valued mentor!

Jason Sisneros

Author of Destiny's Doorstep

Martin Investigative Services has performed background checks, private investigation, surveillance and bug sweeps for our clients.  They have also served difficult process in lawsuits.  They have performed unquestionably and unfailingly to perfection.  We will always call Martin first – and hope he hasn’t been called yet by the other side!

Lisa & Bruce Hughes

Hughes and Hughes, LLP

We have used Martin Investigative Services for three decades. Their work is exemplary; reports are perfect and their testimony is very professional, with great judge and jury appeal. We will not use anyone else for our investigations.

Steven Silverstein

Former Orange County Trial Lawyer, Association Trial Lawyer of the Year

It has been my pleasure to work with Martin Investigative Services over the past 30 plus years on many investigations as well as other security related matters.  When I need answers and I need them fast I know that a simple call will get me answers that are succinct, current and coming from a supremely knowledgeable source.

Bill Bancroft

President & CEO Patrol One

MartinPI Operates throughout the United States and foreign countries

We can have a team ready in 2 days. Are you ready?

Our network is composed of private investigators that are former DEA, FBI, IRS, and Secret Service agents.

We respect your time and thank you for stopping by. Please look around and learn about our services.  Should you need help today, simply press the button below.

See Our Guarantee

call us today

Martin Investigations is second-to-none!

See and hear Thomas Martin speak on various solved cases.  After 50+ years, we are ready to help you with your investigative matter.

Start by contacting us and a meeting will be set up. Call (800) 577-1080