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FAQ's

What can you expect when you hire Mace Investigations?

As a Client of Mace Investigations you can expect personal service with an emphasis on keeping the Client informed of the progress of the investigation at every step. The Client may contact Dave or the assigned investigator as often as necessary with questions or updates. Upon conclusion of the investigation, or as often as necessary during the investigation, the Agency will provide a professional, well written report of the findings and copies of any photographs or surveillance video on a DVD.

Who uses a Private Investigator or Private Detective?

  • People who believe their spouse or significant other is cheating on them.
  • Insurance Companies contract with Private Investigators to verify facts of a claim, conduct video surveillance, conduct SIU Investigations, Workers' Compensation Claims Investigations, Liability Investigations, etc...
  • Attorneys hire Private Investigators to work on the behalf of their client in criminal and civil cases such as a personal injury lawsuit. Private Investigators will take written or recorded statements; conduct neighborhood canvasses for witnesses; visit the scene for measurements, diagrams and photographs; and when necessary transport witnesses to and from court.
  • School Districts to conduct Residency Verification and internal personnel investigations.
  • Businesses who require employee screenings and background checks, are victims of internal theft, workers' comp claims, liability suits and high-risk employee terminations.
  • Private individuals who require personal security such as Executive/Dignitary Protection, a bodyguard, protection of property, meetings and special events. 
  • Credit companies such as auto finance lenders for Skip Tracing and Asset Recovery to locate their debtors and recover their assets or arrange payment.

How does a Private Investigator charge for their services?

  • Initial consultations are usually free of charge.
  • A Private Investigator charges by the hour for most services including video surveillance, investigations, statements, travel time, meetings, court appearances and completing reports.
  • In the event the Private Investigator is required to travel outside the area a flat daily rate plus expenses is sometimes negotiable.
  • Mileage: Most firms charge mileage based on the IRS Standard Mileage Rate.
  • Expenses: Reimbursement for database searches, DMV records, court records, government records, etc... A reputable Private Investigator will provide the Client with copies of receipts when available.
  • Fees: Daily fees for services such as GPS Tracking, Activity Checks, Scene Photographs and Diagrams, Subpoena/Court Order Service, etc...
  • Sales Tax:  All investigative services are subject to NYS Sales Tax. Sales Tax is based on the tax rate of the County where the final report is mailed or delivered.
  • The hourly rates and related expenses should be spelled out in a written contract.
  • The contract should also include the amount of the retainer and the maximum amount authorized by the Client.

How do I know a Private Investigator will not divulge my information to anyone?

In accordance with Article 7 of the NYS General Business Law a Private Investigator may only divulge information with the consent of the Client or by court order. Any information shared between the Agency and the Client, whether the client enlists the services of the Agency or not, will remain confidential. This includes any information shared during an initial consultation and via email. We at Mace Investigations, LLC promise confidentiality at every step of the investigation.

What qualifications should a Private Investigator possess?

A Private Investigator doing business in New York State is required to be Licensed by the New York State Department of State. They should also have personal or business liability insurance and a strong investigative background. Also, they should have a high quality digital video recording equipment, a digital camera with a telephoto lens, and a surveillance vehicle that has tinted windows and does not stand out from other vehicles.

Can a Private Investigator act as a Security Guard?

Yes. A Private Investigator is considered a "Qualifier" to work as a Security Guard and a separate registration as a Security Guard is not required.

Can I legally record a conversation?

A conversation can only be recorded if at least one party has knowledge of the recording. Meaning, if you choose to record your own conversation, your knowledge that the conversation is being recorded is sufficient. You may not record someone else's conversation without any party's knowldge.

Can a Private Investigator run a credit check?

A professional Private Investigator cannot obtain an individual's credit report directly from a credit bureau without written consent from the individual.

Should you ask the Private Investigator if they are insured?

Yes. A Private Investigator should not only be bonded by the State of New York, they should also carry liability insurance.

What can't a Private Investigator do?

  • A conscientious and professional Private Investigator will not: Surreptitiously record any conversation without any party's knowledge the conversation is being recorded. For example, you cannot "bug" a telephone to listen to someone else's conversation, even if it is your telephone.
  • Run a vehicle license plate without a legal reason to do so. A Private Investigator with integrity will usually only run a license plate if the information will be used in a court proceeding or in the course of an investigation.
  • Harass or annoy the Subject of the investigation on behalf of the Client.
  • Conduct themselves in a manner that is unlawful or immoral.