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How Much Does a PI Cost in Virginia?

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From GD Investigations in Woodbridge serving Fairfax County, Prince William & Richmond

Today’s private investigators serve many roles and rely heavily on technology to verify and document evidence. In addition to traditional surveillance services, PIs regularly conduct background checks, prove infidelity/adultery, help in child custody cases, locate missing persons, and so much more. 

Of course, if you’ve never worked with a PI, you might be wondering just how much they cost. What factors go into a private investigator’s bill? What can you expect to pay a PI in Virginia?

And ultimately, is it worth it?
 

Factors That Affect the Cost of Hiring a Private Investigator

In many cases, the decision to hire a private investigator is based on a court case. It could be that you’re about to go through a divorce. Maybe you’re fighting for full custody of your child and need to prove that your ex is abusive or neglectful. 

The situation could also be related to contract law or any number of other legal issues. 

The point is this: you need physical evidence that supports your claims and encourages the court to rule in your favor. 

An experienced private investigator will spend time gathering evidence and preparing materials that will stand up in court. 
 

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Examples of how we collect and document evidence includes:

Evidence of drug and/or alcohol use/abusef divorce cases.

Evidence of child abuse and/or neglect

Evidence of dangerous lifestyles

Evidence of breach of contract

Evidence disputing claims, such as personal injury and/or disability

Evidence of wrongdoing 

What constitutes “evidence”, however? It varies greatly from case to case and can include:

Photographs of individuals engaged in a particular activity

Photographs of homes/living environments

Photographs or copies of specific documents

Internet history documentation

Copies of records, bank statements, etc.

Receipts, transaction reports, etc.

Of course, a great deal goes into creating or obtaining this evidence.

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Equipment

Private investigators use a wide range of equipment and tools in their trade. This includes cameras, microphones, GPS tracking devices, surveillance devices, and even specialized software.

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Complexity

Each case a PI works on is unique. No two are the same. Some cases are simple and easily handled. Others require a great deal of expertise and experience to navigate, travel to capture evidence, individuals to be interviewed, and more. 

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Services

The cost of hiring a PI will also vary depending on the services you require. For instance, if you’re conducting a thorough background check, you’ll likely pay less than someone who needs to surveil their ex to prove child endangerment. 

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Time

The longer a case takes to complete, the higher you can expect the final cost to be. If a PI can complete a case in a few hours, the cost will be substantially lower than a missing persons case that takes weeks to complete and involves a great deal of travel. 

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Contingent Expenses

In addition to the costs listed above, private investigators must also charge additional fees in some situations. For instance, mileage and travel fees apply if your case requires the investigator to travel beyond a certain point. Administration fees, database access fees, equipment rental costs, and the costs of hiring additional personnel may also be added to the final cost, depending on the case in question.

How Much Does a Private Investigator Charge Per Hour?

Most private investigators charge an hourly rate to cover their time. This rate is based on a range of factors, including their experience and expertise, your geographic area, and any specialization the PI might have. 

The average hourly rate for a private investigator can be anywhere between $50 and $100 per hour. 

Highly experienced investigators and those specializing in specific case types or procedures can charge more than this.

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Do You Need a Private Investigator?

As you can see, many factors play into the cost of hiring a private investigator. If you need an experienced private investigator, the best option is to reach out and schedule a consultation. 

At Global Defense Investigation, we understand the importance of obtaining an accurate quote before engaging the services of an investigator, and we’re happy to provide you with the information you need. Contact us today to get started!

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