We don’t hack or use illegal resources. We use skill-based research techniques that are akin to those depicted on the television show “Mr. Robot”, but we do not break any laws gathering your data and intelligence. Shannon belongs to many earned-access and credential-based data providers that allow access to licensed private investigators but are also generally not utilized by law firms or law enforcement. These are the best available resources that provide up to the second current data that no online publicly available database can touch. In other words, we do not use the databases that the public uses. The public is not granted access to these very powerful data vendors since their data products are potentially dangerous in the wrong hands.
In most states, yes, as is the requirement in California. According to the CA Bus & Prof Code § 7523 (2018), it is a misdemeanor to represent yourself as a private investigator when you are not. When in doubt, run the person’s name through your state’s licensing agency to look them up. If their name does not show in the result, then that person is misleading you about their credentials, and if your matter does go to court, the other side’s representation will certainly bring up the fact that your case is predicated on evidence gathered by an unlicensed investigator the judge may throw out the evidence, causing damage to your case.
While sometimes we can charge for a flat-rate task assignment, like a simple locate request, we have seen that most of our investigations have become more complex as our service offerings have evolved. We always consult with our clients to see how we might best serve them, then offer a purpose-built investigative path, that is outlined in writing and discusses pricing options and timelines that will meet your budget. Then we forward our retainer agreement which outlines all our agreed details including our scope of work, for signature. Once we receive the retainer (just like your attorney), we will begin your assignment as agreed. But we like to think of our investigations as a conversation that is had between our office and you. We may also make suggestions on how we may modify the investigation to serve you better, which will be agreed to in writing via email. We will always handle your matter according to industry best practices and serve you most effectively and efficiently. So, to answer your question-it depends. Schedule your free consultation, so we can talk about what matters to you.