FAQs

Domestic Investigations

Q: Why do I need to hire a private investigator instead of doing it myself or asking a friend to help?
A: Emotional issues that have a dramatic impact on our lives require a professional. A professional is someone who deals with these type matters on a daily basis and is not emotionally attached to the situation or the outcome.

Q: What is the average cost of an investigation?
A: All investigations are unique, some require travel, some require extensive surveillance, etc. Crucial Investigations offers a free confidential consultation to evaluate your particular investigative needs. The minimum investigative cost is $1000.

Q: Who governs private investigations in South Carolina?
A: The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) licenses private investigation agencies and investigators.

Q: What if the investigation leads to another state, do I need a private investigator licensed in that state as well?
A: As long as the investigation originated in South Carolina you only need an investigator licensed in South Carolina. Dan Garrett has traveled all over the United States conducting investigations that originated in South Carolina.

Q: What information do I need to provide to the private investigator?
A: One of the reasons we offer a free consultation is to gather as much data as possible. If possible provide a current photo and vehicle license plate number in addition to descriptive data.

Q: Does the investigator testify in court?
A: Yes, a private investigator is best described as a professional witness. All evidence, documents, photos, etc., gathered by the investigator is admissible in court as long as the "chain of evidence" is protected by the investigator.

Q: Will I be kept informed of the ongoing investigation?
A: Yes, our investigators usually converse with the client every day, sometimes several times a day if necessary. The major complaint private investigators receive is after they are retained the client cannot get in touch with them. We are in constant contact with our clients regarding the investigations. A good investigator builds a close relationship with their clients.

Q: Some of the other investigative web sites have on line forms for clients to fill out regarding new investigations. Why doesn't Crucial Investigations offer this type service?
A: We feel that these situations/investigations are too sensitive to just be a lot of questions on a form. As mentioned earlier, all investigations are unique and should be handled as such. Rather than a form we are available twenty-four hours a day seven days a week for our clients and perspective clients.

Q: Why do I have to sign an investigative contract?
A: Private investigation is a professional business and the contract actually protects the client more than the agency. It details what is expected of the investigator, the cost, etc. SLED also requires that a contract or waiver of contract be signed for every investigation. The contract also states the client will receive a written copy of the final report when the investigation is complete.

Q: Do all infidelity cases end in divorce?
A: No, not all of them. We have found on several occasions that when all the cards are on the table and the truth is finally uncovered several marriages are salvaged.

Corporate Investigations

Q: How confidential is the consultation and is it really free?
A: All consultations are extremely confidential regardless of whether the client decides to retain Crucial Investigations or not. The consultation basically addresses the current issues the company is facing and what direction Crucial Investigations would take to help resolve them. The consultation is totally free regardless of location.

Q: What causes most theft and security problems in the workplace?
A: Mid level supervision is the key to a more secure environment. A poor supervisor or the absence of a supervisor not only causes decreased productivity but also encourages employees to stray into counter-productive behavior such as stealing. Remember the 20-60-20 percent rule mentioned in this web site? The 60 percent that are on the fence requires good supervision to control them.

Q: Will pre-employment background checks prevent security issues?
A: Pre-employment screening will help rule out the bad twenty percent. These are the twenty percent who steal because of their nature. You still have the other sixty percent to be concerned about.

Q: Is sabotage a real security issue?
A: Yes, but for various reasons. Our investigator once had an issue for a machine company who exported much of their equipment. A repairman would sabotage some equipment that was being shipped to exotic places just so he would be sent to those locations to repair the problem. All he was actually doing was inverting a few electrical wires.

Q: Can hidden video cameras be placed anywhere on the company property?
A: Video cameras, including covert (hidden) cameras can be placed anywhere on the company property, with the exception of restrooms and dressing rooms.

Q: Are undercover investigations really worth the cost?
A: If the issue is costing the company substantial loss or expense then yes. Crucial Investigations once handled an issue where the shipping department hired the mother-in-law as supervisor and her son and daughter-in-law were employees in the shipping/receiving. These three employees and two truck drivers cost that company well over $250,000. An undercover operation was the solution. Although in certain situations it can take some time to penetrate the cells, an undercover investigation may be the only way to solve the problem. Another example is an operation in Birmingham, Ala., where there were twenty-two employees involved in the conspiracy.

Q: Who does the investigation agency actually report to within the company?
A: Most frequently the Human Resource Director or VP of Operations, rarely but sometimes directly to the CEO.

Q: If evidence of criminal activity is uncovered during an investigation what then? Who brings charges?
A: It is always the client's decision whether to prosecute or not and it totally depends on the circumstances. If prosecution were deemed necessary the investigator would sign the warrants and bring the charges if the client requested.

Q: What types of things are likely to be stolen from a business?
A: Keep this principle in mind: If it can be manufactured it can be sold. If it can be sold then it can stolen.