License for Private Investigator in Miami Florida
A private investigator (often abbreviated to PI and informally called a private eye), a private detective or inquiry agent, is a person who can be hired by individuals or groups to undertake investigatory law services. Private detectives/investigators often work for attorneys in civil cases.
People hire private investigators for a number of reasons. Most often, this includes obtaining information on the whereabouts, identity, conduct or credibility of a person or company; conducting background searches; having someone followed to see if he or she is being deceitful, and more.
Some people hire private investigators so routinely that it would be difficult for them to imagine completing a project-whether it's personal or professional-without one. Other people think a PI is just like an FBI agent-they're needed only when a catastrophe arises, such as a kidnapping or something equally tragic.
The need for a Private Investigator usually falls somewhere between never and always. Although most of the time you can handle matters on your own, there are times when you can truly benefit from a private investigator or investigative agency.
“Most of the time you can handle matters on your own. However, there are times when you can truly benefit from a private investigator or investigative agency.”
Private investigators (PIs) often perform background checks of individuals or companies for law firms, corporations and private citizens. PIs search public records, conduct interviews and verify reference checks and facts to provide a detailed profile of someone.
Most private investigators understand how to conduct physical surveillance while some specialize in using technology for surveillance. Sometimes private investigators conduct surveillance from a car or a location where they will not be noticed. Using video cameras, mobile phones, and binoculars private investigators conduct time consuming surveillance. The duties of private investigators are dependent on clients' requests.
Here's an example: Laura has survived two divorces and a handful of bad relationships. She broke up with most of the men because they lied to her. She's very trusting, and the revelations always came too late. Her current boyfriend, Peter, has recently proposed. A third divorce would be financially and emotionally devastating to Laura. She decides to consult a private investigator to get an objective report on Peter, a divorced man with no children. She'd like to see the information in his divorce file.
With instant access to public records, a private investigator can search court filings for details of a divorce, as well as any criminal or civil charges filed over the years. The investigator can also check a financial background for state or federal tax liens, judgments, and bankruptcies, notices of default or hidden assets.
After receiving a copy of the background search, Laura feels confident to accept Peter's proposal.
Private investigators must obey all laws while conducting investigations. They must stay updated about privacy laws, as well as other federal and state laws affecting their work. Often private investigators must make judgment calls when the legality of certain surveillance methods is unclear. They must collect evidence legally, so it will be admissible in court.
Every day, private investigators are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they read and understand documents and reports.
It is important for private investigators to observe and document efforts of individuals in order to uncover unlawful acts or to obtain evidence for cases, using binoculars and still or video cameras. They are often called upon to expose fraudulent insurance claims or stolen funds. They also perform undercover operations such as evaluating the performance and honesty of employees by posing as customers or employees. They are sometimes expected to alert appropriate staff to suspects' locations. Somewhat less frequently, private investigators are also expected to question persons to obtain evidence for cases of divorce or missing persons, or data related to individual's character or financial status.
They also have to be able to investigate companies' financial standings or locate funds stolen by embezzlers, using accounting skills And finally, they sometimes have to track industrial or commercial properties to enforce conformance to establishment rules, and to safeguard people or property.
Like many other jobs, private investigators must have exceptional integrity and be reliable.
Private investigators are typically not required to complete formal training, but many hold graduate degrees. Investigators who specialize typically hold bachelor's degrees and complete specialized training. Aspiring investigators should take classes in criminal justice and police science while in college to improve promotion opportunities. Even though relevant prior work experience is usually required, some private investigators begin their careers after earning a college degree, typically in police science or criminal justice. Companies and individuals that hire private investigators often prefer hiring investigators with law enforcement experience.
Legal requirements to become a private investigator vary from state to state. Florida is among the states that require private investigators to become licensed.
The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Licensing, licenses and regulates the private investigative industry in accordance with Chapter 493, Florida Statutes. Private investigators and private investigative agencies serve in positions of trust. Untrained and unlicensed persons or businesses, or persons not of good moral character, are a threat to the public safety and welfare. The private investigative industry is regulated to ensure the interests of the public are adequately served and protected. This information has been made available to inform Florida citizens about licensing requirements.
A private investigator is any individual or agency who, for consideration, advertises as providing or performs the following activities. Individuals or agencies providing or advertising as providing these services for consideration must be licensed.
- Subcontracting with the government to determine crimes or wrongs done or threatened against the United States
- Determining the identity, habits, conduct, movements, whereabouts, affiliations, associations, transactions, reputation or character of any society, person, or group of persons.
- The credibility of witnesses or other persons.
- The whereabouts of missing persons, owners of abandoned or escheated property, or heirs to estates.
- The location or recovery of lost or stolen property.
- The causes or origin of fires, libels, slanders, losses, accidents, damage, or injuries to real or personal property.
- Securing evidence to be used before investigating committees or boards of award or arbitration or trial of civil or criminal cases.
Types of Private Investigation Licenses
- "C" - Private Investigator: Any individual who performs the services of a private investigator must have a Class “C” license.
- "CC" - Private Investigator Intern: Any individual who performs private investigative work as an intern under the direction and control of a designated, sponsoring Class “C” licensee or a designated, sponsoring Class “MA” or Class “M” licensee must have a Class “CC” license.
- "M" or "MA"- Manager of a Private Investigative Agency: A Class “B” Security Agency or Class “BB” or "AB" branch office must have a Class "M" or Class "MA" licensed manager.
- "G" - Statewide Firearm License: Only Class “C,” Class “CC,” Class “M,” or Class “MA” licensees are permitted to bear a firearm, and any such licensee who bears a firearm must also have a Class “G” license.
- "K" - Firearms Instructor: Any person who provides classroom and range instruction to applicants for Class “G”, licensure must have a Class “K” license.
- "A" - Private Investigative Agency (main office): Any person, firm, company, partnership or corporation which engages in business as a private investigative agency must have a Class “A” license. A Class “A” license is valid for only one location.
- "AA" or "AB" - Private Investigative Agency Branch Office: Each branch office of a Class “A” agency must have a Class “AA” license. If the person, firm, company, partnership or corporation holds both a Class “A” and Class “B” license, each additional or branch office must have a Class “AB” license.
There are many career and education opportunities for private investigators in the Miami, Florida area. Currently, 4,170 people work as private investigators in Florida. This is expected to grow by 15% to 4,790 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for private investigators are expected to grow by about 22.0%.
A person working as a private investigator can expect to earn about $19 per hour or $40,050 per year on average in Florida and about $20 per hour or $41,760 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for private investigators are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Police and Security in Florida and not quite as good as general Police and Security category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: investigator, security analyst, and asset protection manager.
There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Miami where you can study to be a private investigator, among ninety-eight schools of higher education total in the Miami area. The most common level of education for private investigators is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree. You can expect to spend about two years studying to be a private investigator if you already have a high school diploma.