1. Why hire a Private Investigator?
2. What kind of information does a background investigation reveal?
3. How do you keep track of costs and time spent
performing an investigation? Do you itemize these costs for the client?
4. Are you a licensed Private Investigative
5. Why do I need your services if I already have an attorney?
6. Can I retain your services if the subject
of the investigation has a no contact or restraining order against me?
7. Can I discuss my specific needs with you without
Why hire a private investigator? Private parties
might hire private investigators for locating people, background investigations for marital or other purposes, surveillance
in domestic and child-custody matters, and pre-employment screening of household staff to list just some of the common reasons.
Attorneys need private investigators for asset location, video photography, witness interviews, trlal preparation, civil and
criminal investigations, personal injury investigations/verification, witness locating, service of process, and levies execution.
Insurance companies use private investigators for fraud investigations, witness locating and interviewing, lost or stolen
property locating, workers' compensation claims, casualty claims verification, and photography.
have the experience in searching public records and have access to information sources that the general public does not. In
today's electronic data society, there is a wealth of information to be found on commercial databases that are not usually
available to the general public. This ability to find and access records in a timely manner equates to a savings for the client.
Most commercial information brokers require that their customers (law enforcement, lawyers, insurance companies, and private
investigators) show proof of licensure prior to access and charge either a per usage fee or monthly flat rate contract fee.
Do you guarantee your work? While we guarantee our work, we do not guarantee that the result of a investigation
or search will provide you with all of the information or the results that you desire. In dealing with information brokers
and database providers one must always be aware that while the information has been found reliable, it may not be guaranteed.
We are seekers of the truth and the facts that we uncover during an investigation are not always the facts that the client
wanted us to discover. It is our policy to keep our clients informed about the progress of an investigation and the need for
any additional record searches or other investigative activity.
What kind of information
does a background investigation reveal? Depending on the purpose for the background investigation (premarital,
pre-employment screening, business relationship, dating), the results could provide information about local or national criminal
prosecutions, involvement in prior litigation, prior marriages or divorces, employment history, and types of assets. It may
be helpful to read more about background investigations on our "Services" page.
do you keep track of costs and time spent performing an investigation? Do you itemize these costs for the customer?
We track our activities in the same manner as other professionals such as lawyers and accountants. We track time as well as
incurred expenses including travel, administrative, investigative and administrative costs and the actual expenses of commercial
database searches. These costs and expenses are all shown on our invoices.
Investigative & Administration
costs include the hours performed for a particular activity (hours x rate per hour). All activities performed are itemized
by date, hours, and mileage. An initial retainer fee is charged to off set immediate costs. Any additional fees, costs or
expenses will be billed on a regular basis with complete itemization.
Expenses may include the following items:
Transportation (miles x per mile rate), Out of Town Expenses, Photography, Records Search (Court, MVR, Claims, Background
Report), Clerical, Long Distance/Fax, Postage, Fees Paid Out, and Miscellaneous Copies.
you a licensed Private Investigative Agency? Yes, we are licensed through the Washington State Department
of Licensing as a Private Investigative Agency. As a licensed Private Investigative Agency in Washington State (License #1361),
we are required to be either bonded or insured. The Hawkins Group is fully insured for your peace of mind.
Why do I need your services if I already have an attorney? Just as you may need both a Doctor
and a Dentist, you may need both an attorney and an investigator. Normally, if you have an attorney, and you retain the services
of a private investigator through your attorney, the investigator's work product becomes shielded from disclosure to adversaries
under the attorney/client privilege. Attorneys prepare and try contested cases but they are not trained as investigators.
Many attorneys generally welcome the professional assistance of highly trained and qualified private investigators to assist
and augment their representation of a client. The Hawkins Group with its legal and governmental investigative experience fully
understands the Rules of Evidence and how to build an effective case for the attorney to present in court or other proceedings.
Can I retain your services if the subject of the investigation has a no contact
or restraining order against me? The answer to this question is "It depends". A no contact or restraining
order is a legally enforceable document that prevents you from harassing or contacting the individual. You cannot employ a
third party (investigator) to do that which you are not authorized to do personally. If you have such a situation, please
advise us in advance of requesting our service. It could be either legal or illegal for us to conduct an investigation under
such circumstances. Privacy laws are very strict in regard to such issues. We suggest that you consult your attorney for legal
advice on your specific set of circumstances before seeking to employ a private investigator.
I discuss my specific needs with you without obligation? We will gladly discuss your case and its investigative
needs with you without any obligation on either your part or on ours. It is only through open and honest discussion that we
can determine whether or not we can be of assistance to you or if your case is one which could benefit from an investigation.
Whether or not you subsequently employ us to conduct the investigation, we will take all legal steps to protect your privacy
and will not disclose any information you provide to us during any pre-employment discussions.