Private Detective Los Angeles

The Cost of Hiring a Private Detective in Los Angeles

The cost of private investigation services can change based on different things. The price can depend on what’s happening in each situation. Usually, in services, the price is connected to how good it is. If you’re searching for a private detective in Los Angeles, knowing the gap between a low cost and a high one can make a big difference.

Private investigators, also called private detectives, are regular people who get training and permission from their state to give investigation help to people or groups. They often work on civil or criminal cases and do things like watching, noting down information, and researching.

Private Detective Los Angeles

How Much Should Private Investigation Cost in Los Angeles?

When you talk about the cost with a private detective, the more info you share, the better. If you don’t have much info to start with, it might cost more. Details like the person’s name, address, where they were born, and Social Security numbers are all really useful for private investigators.

Sometimes, there are multiple people with the same name, and that can make things tricky. Having more details helps investigators look deeper into a person’s life. The cost usually depends on how much information you can give, and it might change based on how much research is necessary.

Professional Background Searches

When you request a background check, you’ll probably pay a set fee, and if more info is found, there might be an extra hourly charge. The fixed fee depends on how detailed the background check is. If you imagine from easy to hard, searching for an address is cheaper, but digging into financial fraud costs more.

For a detailed basic background check, the cost could range from $350 to $900. The price depends on how much info you want. Be careful if someone quotes a price that seems too low or too high.

Professional Surveillance

Private investigators often get hired for surveillance work, and the quality of their work is what you’re paying for. Anyone can use a camera and claim to be an expert, but real private investigations and surveillance require a license.

Surveillance costs are usually based on each hour of work, including the evidence they collect like photos and videos. It’s essential to talk about extra charges for travel time and mileage.

A skilled private investigator with a good surveillance history might charge at least $100 per hour. Agencies might set a “minimum number” of hours. Well-established firms can ask for higher hourly rates because they have a history of satisfied clients and successful cases.

General Investigations

Most times, general investigations have an hourly charge, not a fixed fee. For regular investigative services, you might pay between $100 and $200 per hour. If the investigation needs special skills, the price could go up to over $500 per hour. In those situations, you’re paying extra for the specialized expertise.

Find Assets

In court cases, some folks lie about what they own, trying to keep their assets safe. Skilled private detectives can find these hidden assets and make sure they are shown correctly in court.

Private investigators who know their way around asset searches, recovery, and location usually charge a fixed fee or an hourly rate. These are special cases that need careful handling. It could be as straightforward as finding an inheritance or more complicated, like locating assets in a divorce. Most agencies handle these situations case by case.

PI Expert Testimony in Court

A legitimate private investigation company will give their clients the option to use them as expert witnesses in court. Private investigators usually charge an hourly rate with a minimum number of hours because courts are a place where time can be unpredictable.

Rates can range from $150 to $550 an hour depending on the level of expertise required.

The Fees Associated With Private Investigator Licensing in LA

The fees for getting a California private investigator license come in stages during the application process. It all starts once you meet the education or experience requirements.

First, there’s a background check, including Live Scan Fingerprinting. The cost of the fingerprinting form varies, with one including a firearms license for $89 and the other without for $51. This fingerprint scan is used for a criminal background check, so make sure to keep the receipt for your application.

If you’re going for a private investigator license with a firearms permit, it’s $130 or $50.

After passing the licensing test, there’s a final fee of $175 before you get your license. Once you successfully pass the test, you need to pay the $175 final fee before the state sends you the license.

Additional PI Expenses

After licensing, you will need to pay the remaining costs to set up a private investigator practice. California requires that all private investigators who carry firearms have at least a $1 million liability insurance policy. This includes $500,000 in case of injury or death and $500,000 if the loss is due to property damage.

What to Do Before Hiring a Private Investigator

You should conduct your investigation before hiring a private detective. Ask yourself the following questions to get the best results:

  • What do I want to achieve by hiring a private detective? What is your end goal?
  • Does the investigator that I am considering have a California license?
  • What are the specialties they have that I can use to achieve my goals?
  • The price is fair.

When choosing an investigator to help you reach your goal, it’s crucial to discuss the fees. Fees play a big role in making sure the work gets done.

Before private investigators start working, they often ask for a retainer or deposit. Think of it as a “good faith payment” By paying part of the fee upfront, you show trust that they’ll deliver the results you want before you pay the full amount. You’re counting on them to get paid in full once the job is finished.

Like any other service industry, get a written quote and talk about any changes before they start the work. No one likes surprises when it comes to paying more than they budgeted.

Before hiring a private detective, keep in mind:

While some companies may have special pricing sometimes, regular rates shouldn’t be too cheap. If the rates seem extremely low, it might make you wonder about the company’s legitimacy, licensing, and expertise.

Why Choose West Front Investigations, LLC?

West Front Investigations, LLC is the top choice for high-quality private investigator services in Los Angeles. Our services are the best, most affordable, and can be used in court. Our investigators are friendly, and experienced, and can handle cases like infidelity, digital forensics, and criminal and civil investigations.

We’re here to talk to you about your case over the phone, and the initial consultation is free. We don’t want you to worry about paying for consultations or other fees until you’re sure we can meet your needs. Reach out to us by phone or email. We’re eager to hear from you!

Our Los Angeles Investigation Services:

  • Adultery & Cheating Spouses
  • Activity Check
  • Asset and Hidden Finances Investigations
  • Background Screening
  • Business Background Checks
  • Cell Phone Forensics
  • Child Support & Custody
  • Civil Litigation Support
  • Cohabitation / Alimony
  • Computer Forensics
  • Corporate Security
  • Corporate Security Investigations
  • Domestic & Family Issues
  • Elder Abuse Investigations
  • Family Law
  • Fraud Investigations
  • Handwriting Analysis
  • Heir Searches
  • Infidelity Cases (Cheating Spouse)
  • Insurance Fraud Cases
  • Integrity Checks
  • Locate Missing Person
  • Process Service
  • Social Media Backgrounds


Call Us at 323 910 1084

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