Here are answers to the most frequent surveillance questions we get at Martin Investigative Services.
Can you put a GPS tracking device on the vehicle?
We do not use GPS tracking as our corporate attorneys have advised us that this is an invasion of privacy.
Can you place a listening device inside their home or vehicle?
We never place monitoring devices of any kind in any location.
Planting audio bugs without a warrant is a Federal crime. Any “investigator” who claims he/she can do so is most likely getting you involved in a criminal act.
What are the costs?
Our agency charges $150.00/hour and $0.95/mile. We work in four-hour minimums. Our minimum retainer is $750.00.
Do I get a report, photos or videos?
We provide a full report. When our investigation is over, we keep nothing… no photos or videos of any kind. All original materials are handed directly to the client.
Please note, it is important that your investigator suggest that findings be sent to your attorney, to insure the attorney/client privilege.
Do you ever get caught by the person(s) you are performing surveillance on?
At our agency, very rarely. The rate is about 1 in 1000. When our investigators do get caught, it is almost always because the person we were watching was actively looking for a tail and our investigator was having a bad day. In this rare event, the client’s retainer is fully refundable.
How can I get the best quality surveillance service?
Even if you don’t hire us for your surveillance service, make sure you hire a qualified private investigator.
Here are some tips to help make sure you don’t get ripped off:
Always hire a licensed private investigator.
All 50 states require a person to be licensed with the following four exceptions. Colorado: Voluntary License. Kentucky: License Requirement Pending. South Dakota: Only a Business License is required. Wyoming: Regulated by Local Jurisdictions.
Check with the appropriate licensing agency in your state.
Determine if the person’s license is in good standing with the licensing state and has no past or current disciplinary actions.
Hire someone who has an office.
You can go to versus meeting someone in a bar or on a street corner. Having a license doesn’t make someone a good investigator but it will provide piece of mind to the client. If something goes wrong with the case or monetarily, you have a place of recourse to revisit.
Your consultation should be free.
This should take approximately one hour or less. You provide all your contact information so the investigator can speak with you if necessary during the course of the surveillance. You provide the name, address, vehicle, work and play information, along with the subject’s description and current photos. This will also provide you the opportunity to evaluate the investigator. You should feel comfortable to get up and leave the office at anytime without incurring any expense.
When the initial consultation is completed you should know the full cost of the surveillance.
An open-ended hourly structure only works to incur additional hours.
At a minimum, determine that you will receive a full written report of all the investigator’s activity.
Further, hire only those investigators who can prove to you that their work-product is considered as expert in Federal, State or local court. If not, what is the point of hiring them?
Obtain the assurances of the investigator that you will receive photos, or (even better) a time-stamped video tape of the surveillance.
This is always crucial evidence to support the above-referenced report.
Make sure your investigator has expertise across all areas of surveillance.
This includes the public, attorneys, corporations, and the insurance industry. If they claim they have this expertise, get at least three references from past or current clients.
If you have any questions or wish any matter clarified, please call or email us.