What is a private investigator?

A private investigator — also known as a PI, Private Detective or Private Eye — is someone that is hired to undertake an investigation. Most states require PIs to be trained and licensed. Investigators often have a law enforcement and/or a military background.

Private investigators in Texas must be licensed and insured to advertise or provide private investigations in Texas.


Who hires private investigators?

Law firms, corporations, insurance companies, private parties and entities not involved with the government or police all have reasons to procure the services of a private investigator.


How do I verify that someone is a licensed investigator?

The public can click on the link below to verify if a person is licensed to perform private investigations in Texas.

Texas D.P.S.


Is International Specialized Investigations licensed and insured?

International Specialized Investigations has the proper state license and required insurance to provide private investigations in Texas. Many of the countries we provide services in abroad do not require a license.


How do private investigators charge?

In the majority of cases, private investigators will charge an hourly rate. Hourly rates can vary. Nearly all investigators will ask for a retainer fee before taking a case. It is unlikely you will find an investigator willing to do just one or two hours of investigative work.

We require a four hour minimum per day, along with any applicable mileage and expenses.


Can a private investigator get phone records?

It is illegal to get phone records for accounts that do not belong to the person asking for them. The only way is by getting a subpoena by a judge.


Can a private investigator in access someone's cell phone messages, activity and phone calls?

Only with permission from the owner of the cellular or with a subpoena.


Can I retain you and then call you on demand when I know my spouse is going to go out?

We are more than happy to accommodate our clients but we ask that our clients schedule the day and time they will need us. We simply cannot receive a call and then deploy to the field that instant. We have other client cases we might be working on at the time you are relying on us to be on standby.

We do make accommodations for standby or on call status with an hourly rate that we charge for the time we are on call. This is additional to the hours we charge for service time.


What types of things are professional private investigators NOT allowed to do?

Although PIs have access to information the general public can not obtain, they must obey the same basic laws as ordinary citizens. Three big things they can't do:

  • Pose as law enforcement officers
  • Wire tapping
  • Obtain cell phone records via pre-texting

What can private investigators do that I can not?

Private Investigator’s have access to several information databases that are not available to the general public. But more importantly they have the training and experience needed to transform the raw data into actionable information.

To list all of the advantages of using a experienced private investigator is outside of the scope of this website as the information could fill a book or two. But the main point comes down to judgments made from experience. Most investigators have thousands if not tens of thousands of hours of experience working on investigations. To consistently conduct a successful surveillance and mobile surveillance you need an experienced investigator. Could you sit in a vehicle and take pictures and drive behind someone, sure! The downside is when you get caught or confronted by the police you can get injured or into serious trouble. Additionally, now you have lost the valuable element of surprise. Don’t put yourself into a dangerous situation and compromise the discretion of an investigation by trying to do it yourself.

Having a professional licensed investigators report admitted into court or having them testify on your behalf also carries a lot more weight then trying to get evidence admitted that you collected yourself.


How much for just one picture?

We do not charge by picture. We charge by the time it takes to record activities of the target. We have a four hour minimum per day.