Are you curious or ever wanted to become a private investigator or security officer?
WAPI will teach you everything you need to start your PI & security career! Our instructors are active investigators, security professionals, and police officers certified with the State of Georgia. Our courses are created based on the State of Georgia certification requirements, training and real-life experience. The education, skills and techniques are tired & true!
PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR COURSE
Unarmed Private Investigator (70 Hours)
Armed Private Investigator (86 Hours)
Bonus: Investigator Toolbox included in PI Course!
SECURITY OFFICER COURSE
Unarmed Security Officer (24 Hours)
Armed Security Officer (40 Hours)
ADDITIONAL COURSE AVAILABLE
Annual State Firearm Requalification
16 Firearm Training Course
Impact Weapon/Baton & Handcuff Course
Active Shooters Response
Continuing Education Courses
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For the purposes of this article, “PS” refers to a Process Server and “PI” refers to a Private Investigator!
A key step in starting a lawsuit is service of process; that is, giving the defendant official notice of the claims. While a 3rd party is permitted to serve process, there are drawbacks: Nonprofessionals don’t know the complex rules governing service of process, and lack experience in safely and successfully completing the task.
Using a professional process server, private investigator or a deputy sheriff is a good decision. But which is the right choice?
Survey of Law Office Personnel
Some 100 legal secretaries and paralegals participated in a recent survey rating and comparing licensed PS/PI and deputy sheriffs. According to these legal professionals who regularly make service of process arrangements, the answer is clear: 78% rated process servers & private investigator higher than deputies, and use them more often.
One survey respondent explained that the only times she uses the sheriff’s office is in an area where she cannot locate a reasonably priced process server or if the defendant is in jail or is a government entity.
Specific Categories: Knowledge, Speed, Success, Cost
Survey participants evaluated several criteria, including speed of service, success rate, and knowledge of process-serving laws.
Speed of Service
Respondents reported that 90% of the time, PS/PI do the job faster. One reason cited for this lopsided result is that process-serving is the primary focus of the PS/PI; the sheriff’s office has many other priorities and responsibilities.
Again, process servers & private investigator rated higher, scoring a 4.28 rating (out of a possible 5) compared with the 2.55 result for the deputies. Since there is competition within the private process-serving field, providers know they must give good service and results or they won’t be hired again.
Knowledge of Laws
PS/PI were rated by 58% of respondents as more knowledgeable, while 13% chose the deputies. Some 29% concluded there is no difference.
Participants reported that 92% of the time, PS/PI were successful, compared with a 74% success-rate for the deputies.
Fact, one attorney paid the sheriff’s department 3 times to serve one individual. All 3 were marked as unsuccessful on all attempts. Attorney hired WAPI and the individual was located and served in one attempt!
Evasive or Hard to Locate Individuals
Sherriff department will not locate or search for individuals to serve. They will go to the located listed on the order sheet between 9AM-5PM and ask for the individual. If the individual is not there and/or answers the door and simply states “he/she does not live here anymore”. The sheriff will marked as unsuccessful or unable to deliver.
Licensed PS/PI specialize in locating individuals! PS/PI go the extra mile to locate and serve individuals. Process serving is done Morning, Noon, Night, weekdays, weekends, and holidays!
The average cost for process servers/Private Investigator was higher. But the fee structure for PS/PI takes into account multiple attempts and mileage while the sheriffs’ cited rate does not.
Legal professionals who regularly deal with process-serving matters believe licensed process servers & private investigators are well worth their reasonable charges and are the clear choice to effect successful service of process.
WAPI investigators serve papers 24/7, 365 days a year. Our goal is to locate and serve the individual on the first attempt. We specialize in locating hard to find people. WAPI is able to assist you with all of your service of process needs. We can serve any paper or any legal document anywhere in the State of Georgia. We have investigators ready to help you. Call us today at 770-864-6618 to get started or place your order online!
Building a solid case involves research, investigation and evidence. Private investigators help law firms find and deliver the proof that they need to support a case – and ensure that it’s court admissible. Depending on the nature of the case this proof may include public records, witness depositions or proof of assets.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways a PI can help a lawyer preparing to present a case.
Locating witnesses for depositions
Depositions are a key part of pre-trial discovery. They involve locating witnesses and eliciting a statement from them for use pre-trial and potentially later on the witness stand. While generally taken orally, written depositions are also valid testimony.
Private investigators play a crucial role in locating witnesses or persons of interest. In many instances only minimal information about these individuals may be available, while in others they simply don’t want to be found. In both cases a professional investigator can help to track them down. Using records research and digital research, a PI can locate persons of interest so that a deposition can be finalized.
Initial information gathering and surveillance
Some types of cases may require initial information gathering for a legal team to decide how to act or what avenues to pursue. For example, a divorce case may proceed differently if a spouse has been cheating, is demonstratively a poor parent or is attempting to hide assets.
Private investigators can undertake detailed initial research including surveillance, digital analysis and records research, providing the evidence needed to pursue a particular path forward.
Background checks and prior claims
Private investigators can help lawyers know exactly who they’re dealing with – as well as the details of a particular case. Using online and records research, a PI can help determine a person’s character, as well as identify any prior cases or claims in their name.
This can be helpful in assessing insurance claims such as those relating to work or vehicular accidents, or in evaluating an individual being sued for malpractice or inappropriate behavior.
Expert witness testimony
Expert witnesses are critical in pre-trial investigations and may also be called upon during the hearing itself. They’re generally brought in to help lend credence to an argument or refute testimony or accusations.
Expert witnesses can be drawn from any field, but commonly include medical professionals, psychologists, scientists and professors. Law enforcement experts such as private investigators can also play a vital part in delivering expert witness testimony.
A private investigator expert witness will be able to communicate the details of the case in language easily understood by the jury, and will be able to answer challenging, nuanced questions about the case, lending support to a legal argument.
Case-building and reconstruction
Lawyers are experts in building airtight arguments in favor of their client. But having a private investigator at hand can help bolster their case. PIs can reconstruct the circumstances around a crime, or even piece together personal connections, biases or conflicts of interest that may be relevant.
This can help in building a case for or against an individual, as well as to predict the opposing counsel’s next move. It may even be useful in helping to prepare for cross-examination.
From locating persons of interest through testifying on the witness stand, a private investigator is a valuable supporting member of any legal team. Hire a PI with strong research and surveillance skills, as well as a thorough understanding of civil and criminal law, and you’ll have a powerful ally on your side.
Author: Savoy & Assoc