“How does this all work?” is usually the first question a potential client asks before hiring a Private Investigator. Since there is no such thing as a “typical” case, as each one is surrounded by a different set of people and circumstances, there is no standard answer to this question. There is however a pattern that an investigation can follow in order to increase the chances of successfully obtaining answers for the client in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.
At Maldem Investigations, everything begins with the initial consultation where the client explains their situation, objectives, time frames, requirements, and the available resources that they are willing to allocate. Based on the information provided by the client, the investigator will recommend some options that might be suitable for the situation; however, without conducting preliminary research and verifications, it is often difficult to determine what would be the optimal course of action for the specific set of circumstances.
For this reason, at Maldem Investigations, we always conduct a preliminary investigation in order to determine what information is potentially available and what investigative methods will and will not work in a given situation. We don’t believe in a “one size fits all” approach, and as such, after conducting basic verifications, we propose a tailored investigative plan and strategy that will work best for the client.
It is essential for clients to understand what can and cannot be achieved in certain situations, given the available information and the legal frameworks that surround Private Investigators; and after the second phase, we can provide our clients with realistic expectations related to the possible outcome of the investigation as well as more accurate estimates regarding the time frames and the required resources.
The next step in the process is the execution of the investigative plan that was proposed and approved in the previous stage. Private Investigators usually have a “carte blanche” when it comes to methods they use during an investigation; after all, they are hired for their knowledge, skills, and expertise in this field. In certain instances, however, a client may ask for specific searches or methods to be included in the investigation; and, as long as those requests are legal, don’t hinder the investigative efforts, and fit within the overall purpose of the investigation, they will usually be considered and carried out as well.
Through online research, database checks, data analysis, forensic reviews, interviews, and surveillance, the investigator will obtain information which will then be presented to the client in the form of a written report; the purpose of which is to provide findings in a clear manner and keep the client in the loop regarding the status and the progress of the case.
At the end of the allocated time frame (or upon the depletion of resources that were initially provided by the client), the combination of individual reports will be used to generate a final summary which will include all relevant findings and an analysis of the situation along with recommendations on available future options (if the desired results were not achieved at that particular time).
The analysis and recommendations will serve as the basis for the client’s decision regarding the next step of the process which may include:
This decision usually takes into account the investigative steps that were completed (and the results they produced), the availability and the quality of the information (or the potential of obtaining it in the future), the availability of additional resources, as well as the importance of the matter to the client.
If the client decides to proceed with further options, the investigative cycle will be repeated again and again until a successful conclusion of the case or total depletion of leads or resources; at which time (when the objectives are either met, or when it is no longer cost-effective or viable to continue the case), the investigator will generate a final report that will provide an overview of the situation, investigative actions with their results, and a conclusion with recommendations (if applicable).
The outcome of an investigation is never a guarantee and often depends on the combination of skills, the abundance of time, availability of information and resources, as well as the luck of being in the right place at the right time. And while it is impossible to promise results, by following an investigative cycle that allows for a better understanding of client’s needs, better operational planning, more efficient execution, and easier decision-making process; a good Private Investigator will drastically increase the chances of success for their clients.