Is it Legal to Hire a Private Investigator?

Private investigators are used for all types of reasons. A spouse or significant other may think their partner is cheating. A family member may believe their elderly parent is being abused at the assisted living facility. A person may think that their ex-spouse is taking advantage of the alimony and child custody agreement. A company may want a background check on someone. A concerned family member may want to search for a missing loved one. Whatever the reason, private investigators have many uses. If you attempt to investigate yourself, you may end up doing something illegal during your investigation and end up with criminal charges. But is it legal to hire someone to do this snooping around? 

The short answer is yes, however, there are regulations that govern private investigations. 

What Does a PI Even Do?

A private investigator, commonly referred to as a PI, is someone that specializes in collecting evidence on behalf of clients. The evidence is sometimes used for legal purposes or private matters. PIs use legal resources, skills, and techniques that the everyday person generally does not have access to or even knowledge of. 

PIs perform an array of services including gathering evidence for the following:

  • Insurance companies regarding claims;
  • Child support and custody battles;
  • Disputes regarding alimony;
  • Locating people to be served legal documents;
  • People who are distrustful of each other.

PIs also have special security clearance, access to specialized software, and industry resources. They gather videos, photos, and other information for their clients. PIs typically do not get involved in criminal matters but, rather, civil matters. 

It is perfectly legal to hire a PI in Nevada. That being said, if you decide to do so, be sure that the individual is reputable and from a trusted agency. Just like in other states across the nation, there are also licensing requirements that must be obtained and active in Nevada in order for the person to work as a PI. Moreover, understand that the cost of a PI will vary depending on how in-depth the services are that you are requesting. A typical hourly rate for general investigation work can range from $75 to $125 per hour and $150 to $350 per hour for more specialized work. 

Requirements to Become a PI

In Nevada, PIs are regulated by the Private Investigator’s Licensing Board (NPILB). The NPILB’s purpose is to protect the general safety and welfare of the state’s residents. According to the NPILB, a PI is anyone who gets paid to make any investigation. Nevada state requirements are as follows:

  • Prior to applying, the minimum requirements must be met, including:
    • Being 21 years old or older;
    • Being a US citizen or legally permitted to work in the US;
    • Having no felony convictions, convictions involving the illegal use or possession of a dangerous weapon, or convictions involving cries of moral turpitude;
    • Successfully passing a background check through the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Nevada Department of Public Safety (NDPS). If the applicant ever worked in California, he or she must also pass a background check by the California Department of Justice (CDJ).
  • Meet the experience and educational requirements, which include:
    • Five years or more of investigative experience, which totals 10,000 hours;
    • Some of the above experience can be satisfied through education in a criminal justice or political science collegiate program in the form of an associates degree (1,333 hours) or a bachelors degree (3,000 hours).

For more information about PIs visit here. If you or someone you know has been hurt in an accident in Las Vegas, contact H&P Law.

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