What Are The Differences
Between A Private Investigator And A Private Detective?
Many people use the terms private investigator and private
detective in the same situation. On the contrary, they are
different, and they also have different meanings altogether.
Some states and countries consider the two terms similar.
That means that they can be used in the place of the other
without causing any confusion. Even though there is a line
between the two professions, there is no much difference
between them. The specific duties are the main aspects that
make the difference between a private detective and private
The term private investigator is also referred to as inquiry
agent or private detective. It is a term used for a person
that can be hired by a group or individual to perform the
investigatory law services. In most cases, these specialists
will work for lawyers in specific civil cases. According to
the definition, the two do not differ at all. Nonetheless,
there is still a line between them. That is why you must
know every aspect that link to them and what each does in
particular. So what is the difference between the
When it comes to the line between these two professions, it
is mainly focused on their duties. The duty that the private
investigator and detective does is different.
• Private Investigators mostly work with private citizens
This is the main difference between the two. For a private
investigator, they will be specifically be involved with the
private citizens. If you have a case, and you need to find
the cause and the reason or people behind it, then a private
investigator will be the right person to choose. The
investigator will not deal with the police or any other
government organization. They will specifically deal with
individuals or a group, without involving the police. The
main aim of the investigator will be to find the cause of
the entire case. Once they have identified the cause and had
enough proof, they will forward the case to an attorney, who
will then present it in court. Even though they do not work
with the government officials, the private investigator can
work with an insurance company. Mostly, you will find some
insurance company with their own private investigators.
These investigators can work along with the outside private
investigator to get to the bottom of the case in general.
• They deal with divorce cases
Another common duty of the private investigator is to look
for proof of adultery in a divorce case. Actually, this is a
common role that they are given by their clients. Many
people hire them specifically for the sake of finding proof
of adultery if they suspect their spouse is cheating. So if
you know of someone that suspects their spouse is cheating
on them, do not try to ask around, you might not get the
real story. Instead, you should advise them to hire a
private investigator to find the real truth. Also, the
investigator is well trained to find out the proof without
raising suspicion, or getting injured or harmed in the long
run. Too many private investigators get a lot of money from
the investigation they carry out in the divorce cases.
• They help to find missing property for the general public
Other than the divorce cases, the PI also offer their
services when there is a case of missing assets. They help
the general public to identify and find the missing assets.
For instance, if there was a jewellery set up in a public
library and it is stolen, the private investigator could be
hired to carry out the investigation.
The Private Detective
As mentioned, a private detective can also be called a PI,
but they have different duties.
• Private detectives work with government agencies
While the PI specifically works with private citizens, the
detectives are hired by the government to carry out specific
investigations. They will work with the government agencies
to deal with specific criminal matters. In most cases, the
detectives will not interfere with the civil matters. Their
main aim is to offer their help to government agencies to
tackle the criminal mysteries that are a burden to them.
Their links and association with the government officials
are one reason the private detective will be considered to
be a police officer. Nonetheless, their duties differ, and
they will only work in ways of identifying the people behind
crimes that affect the government.
For instance, if a political figure has been assassinated,
the private detective will be hired to investigate the
assassination and find out the person behind it. They will
be given the mandate to give orders to the police when they
are on the ground. Even though they work along with the
government agencies, they will have more authority over the
regular police. Such units like FBI, are made up of private
detectives that are involved in the criminal cases that
affect the nation.
They can also be hired to offer security to the public
figures like the president, or any other government
officials. Their services will be offered by ensuring that
the officials are safe and that they are not faced with any
attacks. If there is a crime planned against the official,
the private detective will investigate and find out who is
behind that. Other than that, they will do all that they can
to ensure that the officials are protected and that they are
Even though there is a difference in the duties that the
private investigator and the private detective offer, you
can find some PIs that work as private detectives. There is
no much difference between them, which is why they can work
as either of them. Nonetheless, to get the ideal services,
you need to hire the right person that is suited for the
It is difficult to find a private detective investigating
the proof of adultery in a divorce case. So ensure that you
choose the right profession for the job that you need to be
taken care of. Also, you must check that the private
investigator or detective is well-trained and professional
enough. This will help you get the right help that you need
and also, you can feel comfortable working with them.
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