Welcome

Welcome to Atlanta-Investigators.com.

If you are considering hiring an Atlanta private investigator, if you are interested in general information related to private investigations in and around Atlanta, or if you want to find out more information related to a specific type of Atlanta private investigation, this is the right place to begin.

Private Investigators

Licensed private investigators, sometimes referred to as private detectives or professional investigators, can conduct investigations related to civil and business matters.  Professional investigators normally conduct non-obtrusive and covert investigations; once they are identified (otherwise known as burned) they will normally terminate the investigation or hand the investigation to another professional investigator.  In the normal course of events they will not harass or interfere with a subject who is under investigation.  Repeatedly continuing an investigation once they are identified could lead to charges of stalking.  These types of investigation require payments for the time expended by the investigator, and this usually works to limit the duration of the investigation.

Worker’s Comp and Insurance

Worker’s comp investigations are conducted to determine if an individual is feigning an inury, disability, or sickness for financial gain.  If you have an employee who was incapacitated while employed and was granted financial compensation in some form, you may initiate this type of investigation.  The objective of the investigation is to show that the subject exhibits characteristics (walking, running, lifting, engaging in sports, working another job, or some other activity) that disputes the severity of their claim.  Many insurance companies will routinely have periodic surveillances performed on any individual receiving fairly large or ongoing settlements.  These may occur once within the weeks after the claim, monthly, yearly, or some other interval of time to assure that continued payments of the settlement are warranted.  Generally the amount of the settlement will determine the duration and repetition of the surveillance; insurance companies do not want to spend more countering the claim than they pay for the claim.

Business

There are many types of business investigation.  If you are about to enter into a business agreement, sell a business, or buy a business,you may initiate an investigation to obtain information about the business standing.  You may also want to investigate the other party in the transaction to determine if they are trustworthy and ethical.  You may initiate an investigation to obtain competitive information related to competing businesses.  If you are hiring for a position requiring a security clearance or handling sensitive information or valuable merchandise, you may desire an investigation of the potential employee.  These types of investigations may include attempts to determine credit standing, financial status, previous civil litigation, prior criminal history, or currently pending court cases.  The objective of this type of investigation is normally to obtain information related to a business or business owner’s character, associates, business dealings, past history, or current status.

Child Custody

Child custody investigations are normally initiated by a spouse, ex-spouse, or a relative who desires to gain custody of one or more children.  It is unusual to for an investigation of this type to involve teenage children since courts normally afford them opportunity to have some input where they live.  Exceptions to this include teens who want to live with another person but have been denied the opportunity by the courts or teens who are believed to be in danger of abuse or neglect.  Surveillance is used to determine if the child is being cared for appropriately.  Investigators determine if the guardian spends appropriate times with the child, if they take adequate precautions with the child outside the home, and if they treat the child in a loving and caring manner.  The objective of a child custody investigation is to obtain evidence that the guardian appears unfit or incapable of appropriate care of the child or children in their custody.

Infidelity

You may be considering an investiation to determine if your spouse is faithful or if they are truly having an affair.  There are a few tell-tale signs that can act as a warning that your spouse is having an affair.  Watch for any of the following indicators:

  1. Documenting your time away from home and work.
  2. Constantly asking where you are, what you are doing, or what time you will arrive at (or leave) a particular location.
  3. Keeping tabs on your vehicle mileage.
  4. Looking around furtively when you meet or when you are parting.
  5. Leaving you to use the telephone when you have announced a plan to go somewhere.
  6. Receiving calls or checking voice mails shortly after you arrive home.
  7. Trying to find out who you call or text on your cell phone.
  8. Going through your clothing, billfold, purse, or car.
  9. Asking information about where you have been and who was with you.
  10. Privately checking their email or telephone text messages.
  11. Establishing new email accounts or keeping their computer off-limits.
  12. Showing up at places you frequent or places where you said you would go.
  13.  Spending large sums of money for no apparent reason or a reason that just doesn’t seem kosher.

Infidelity investigations most commonly use surveillance to track and record the activities of your spouse when they are away from the home or during specific times when they may have the opportunity to cheat. GPS tracking of their vehicle and computer forensics are frequently used as well.

Cost of Investigations

The rates for an investigation will vary depending on the particular location in Georgia and the type of investigation that you need performed. Specialized investigations like arson, computer forensics, undercover, and accident investigations may require a premium price. In general you can expect to pay from a low of $45 per hour to a high of $250 per hour. Most Georgia agencies charge an hourly fee in the range of $65 per hour to $85 per hour. Usually the rate is dependent on the experience and quality of the investigator who will work your case.

While the hourly rate is important, it should not be the only consideration. For example, an agency charging $45 per hour for surveillance may go to the surveillance location, spend an hour waiting for subject to appear, follow the subject for an hour and then lose them. You can expect to pay for about 4 hours of time (travel time to and from the location, surveillance time, and time spent trying to find the subject) for a total of $180. And for this amount, you don’t have any more information than you had to start and the investigation will continue another day when the same events may repeat themselves again. On the other hand, an agency charging $75 per hour may not lose the subject and may get the information you need on the very first day and in the first few hours of surveillance. Some agencies require the pay for two investigators during surveillance. Make sure you know if one or two investigators will be used and under what circumstances. You can expect to pay from $35 to $75 per hour for the second investigator which makes the hourly charge vary from $80 per hour to $160 per hour.

You can also expect to pay a retainer which will either be the anticipated total cost of the investigation or sufficient funds to make a good start on the investigation. Most agencies charge a retainer for infidelity and surveillance investigations that vary from $1500 to $3000. The retainer is always collected in advance of the services. Make sure you ask whether the agency will refund unused retainer and what the cancellation fees are for investigation in progress. If the evidence you need is gathered in the first four hours of the investigation, you should expect to pay reasonable fees up to that point with the remaining retainer being refunded.

Expenses are normally paid by the client as well, so ask about mileage and other anticipated expenses. Milage rates average from 40 cents per mile to 75 cents per mile. These costs make it prudent to hire an investigator very close to the proximity of the anticipated location of the investigation. Some agencies charge for telephone calls and for cellular minutes. Often these include calls not initiated by you, but calls between investigators working your case. Make sure you get the details of what can be expected, we have heard of agencies charging up to $1 per minute of phone time.