Perceptions & the Industry

The images of Phillip Marlowe and Tony Rome remain ever present in American folklore. All were great stories of hardened gumshoes rescuing damsels in distress against overwhelming odds. Today, however, private investigative agencies handle a wider scope of services that include civil, criminal and domestic investigations.

A private investigator is any individual or agency who, for consideration, advertises as providing or performs the following activities. Individuals or agencies providing or advertising as providing these services for consideration must be licensed.

    • Interacting with the government to determine crimes or wrongs done or threatened against the United States
    • Determining the identity, habits, conduct, movements, whereabouts, affiliations, associations, transactions, reputation or character of any society, person, or group of persons
    • The credibility of witnesses or other persons
    • The whereabouts of missing persons, owners of abandoned or escheated property, or heirs to estates
    • The location or recovery of lost or stolen property
    • The causes or origin of fires, libels, slanders, losses, accidents, damage, or injuries to real or personal property
    • Securing evidence to be used before investigating committees or boards of award or arbitration or trial of civil or criminal cases

The use of sophisticated data searches, surveillance, interviews and undercover operations have become a mainstay of the modern private investigator. Whether we are searching for hidden assets, missing persons or determining the fidelity of a spouse, the tools of the trade are often learned through previous careers in American law enforcement.

Regulations & Licensing

Private investigators and private investigative agencies serve in positions of trust. Untrained and unlicensed persons or businesses, or persons not of good moral character, are a threat to the public safety and welfare. The private investigative industry is regulated to ensure the interests of the public are adequately served and protected.

The private investigation industry in the State of Florida is regulated by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Private investigators are required to be licensed. As well, private investigative agencies are licensed and inspected by representatives from Tallahassee on a regular basis.

For more information on the regulations and licensing requirements of investigators and investigative agencies, please visit the State of Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services website. You may also verify the licensed status of an individual or agency.

The Decision to Hire

Hiring a private investigator is a personal decision. The nature of the case and the identity of the client will always be held in the strictest of confidence. The process generally begins with a consultation to determine the scope of the situation. After assessing the information, a strategic investigative plan is discussed. Services are usually provided at an hourly rate; however, in some instances a flat fee is agreed upon.

In this day and age, it pays to know more about potential business partners, colleagues and spouses. It is not unreasonable to have second thoughts and mixed emotions. Don't become a victim or let a problem develop to the point of no return. A private investigator can help even the playing field.

James D. Goldman is a licensed private investigator in the State of Florida and the President of James D. Goldman & Associates, a licensed private investigative agency located in Weston, Florida. Mr. Goldman spent 25 years in Federal Law Enforcement and retired in 2003 as the Interim Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) - Miami.

If you require the services of an International Investigations Firm with Global Assets and the ability to operate Worldwide, James D. Goldman & Associates can fulfill your needs!

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