FAQ

How do you hire a Private Investigator?

Please read our article “How to Hire a Private Investigator in Ontario” for more information.

How does Lapointe Investigations charge?

Lapointe Investigations charges an hourly rate. Hourly rates can vary based on the type of investigation needed as well as how many investigators will be needed. During nearly all of the investigations we conduct, will ask for a retainer fee before taking a case. Additionally, we charge for kilometers traveled, and other reasonable expenses incurred. The details will be shown in our retainer agreement; retainer agreements detail all possible fees in order to protect both parties in the unlikely event of a dispute.

What can Lapointe Investigations do that I cannot?

Lapointe Investigations has access to several  databases and sources of information that are not easily available to the general public. But more importantly we have the training and experience needed to transform the raw information into actionable data.

I have already been to the Police; can I still use a Private Investigator?

Whether the police are looking into a matter or not you can still use a a private investigator. In a lot of cases our private investigators will be in communication with the Police. As Private investigators we have the advantage of working on one case at a time, and not at the 9 to 5 of a police officer. Our investigators are always happy to work with the police to bring our clients case to a successful close. Our experience allows us to know when to back off and let the Police do their job.

What happens on surveillance?

There are several investigations that require surveillance, see some here. However, the same basic principles apply to most types of surveillance’s.

The objective is normally to keep an eye on a person to confirm or deny the activities that the hiring party is suspicious of them committing. With this in mind the investigator will locate a hidden or discrete position where their actions and activities can be monitored and recorded. There are a lot of factors the investigator will have to consider while selecting the surveillance position including but not limited to:

Vantage point of the subject
Traffic/weather conditions
Camouflage (not appearing out of place by neighbors)
How close can the investigator get without the subject noticing.
How many exit routs there are that the subject can take

We will if inform you if additional investigators are needed to conduct a surveillance. One of our experienced investigators can handle most surveillance jobs, but you will be informed if more are necessary. Additionally, in urban areas where the target is likely to take public transportation such as OC Transpo the success rate is drastically increased when more than one investigator is on the case, to intercept the public transit vehicle.

When conducting surveillance on a spouse or partner, the Private Investigator will first determine the best schedule for surveillance with the client beforehand. Once on surveillance, all visible activity will be recorded on videotape. Should your spouse or partner enter a public location, covert video will be gathered when and if possible.

It is also important not to interfere with the investigation. As tempting as this may be, it can ruin surveillance if your vehicle is noticed by the other party. Additionally it can put your safety and the safety of the investigator’s at risk. Never tell your spouse they are being investigated, this can ruin the investigation entirely.

How do I know an investigator is working on my case?

Our investigators make every effort to obtain photo or video documentation of any activities during a surveillance period. Often there are extended periods of time when the target is not active, during these times investigators will normally obtain hourly spot shots of the surrounding area to show they are present. We keep our clients up to date, and encourage our clients to call us for questions, concerns and updates during the investigation.

How do investigators follow people without getting caught?

Following or “tailing” a subject is a complicated procedure. There are thousands of decisions that have to be made instantly and fluidly throughout the process of following a subject. An investigator has to take into consideration the driving habits/style of the individual, traffic conditions, upcoming traffic signals and a thousand other scenarios that could play out in a moment’s notice. Our skilled investigators have experience in these situations to anticipate events and take appropriate action. No matter how talented an investigator is, they are not ghosts, and events can transpire where they can lose a subject or become noticed. Our experienced investigators are aware of this and look for signs that they have been spotted or “made”. If this happens the investigator will fall back and allow a greater distance between the subject and the investigator for the sake of discretion. We will always suspend surveillance if continued surveillance will lead to the discovery of the investigation. At this point our investigator will consult with the client and advise them of the situation. This allows for a new plan to be formed.

What happens if your investigator gets caught?

Whether we are approached by a local civilian or a person with Police powers, we will deny everything. Before going on any investigation, our investigators determine a plausible a cover story to use in the unlikely case of getting caught. We comply with any and all request made by the police.

Can private investigators get phone records and emails?

No, Investigators can not legally obtain phone/text records or emails from a non consenting person. Regardless of if the person is a spouse or child they have a certain expectation of privacy. If these records are obtained illegally not only are they not admissible in court but could result in heavy fines or imprisonment. Lapointe Investigations will never jeopardize it’s good standing with the law.

What are the Licensing requirements to become a private investigator?

Please read our article, “How to Become a Private Investigator” for more information.

What can private investigators NOT do?

Pretend to be a Police Officer
Hack into computers, or cellphones
Obtain cell phone records or bank records via pre-texting
Trespass

Can a private investigator enter private property without an owner’s consent?

No, Private Investigators are held accountable to the same laws as every day citizens. Trespassing, or committing any other crime while conducting an investigation will jeopardize the usability of any evidence we obtain in court.

Does Lapointe Investigations have access to government records

We have access to a wide array of public and private databases. Some of these databases are tied to government information including Motor Vehicle Information, property records, ect. These databases are just one of the many tools that a private investigator has available to assist then in completing investigations.

How fast can a private investigator get started on my case?

This will vary greatly based on the type of investigation. Lapointe Investigations responds to request immediately, and you should expect an email or phone-call from us promptly. We are always happy to accommodate last minute investigations. However, It is important to remember that although you want to begin right away, the success of an investigation is greatly improved when a thorough and detailed pre-surveillance interview with the client is conducted. The more time we have to formulate a plan, the greater chance of success and cost effectiveness of your investigation. It is best to contact us a couple days in advance of your requirement for the investigation to begin.

What happens if the investigator does not find what I hired them to find?

The answer to this varies based on the type of investigation requested. Lapointe Investigations bills at an hourly rate that is not contingent on a certain outcome. There is no possible way to guarantee any specific outcome of an investigation. The specifics will be outlined in our retainer agreement contract before the commencement of any investigation.

How do you become a private investigator?

Please read our article, “How to Become a Private Investigator in Ontario“.