The most often asked question we are asked, right after, “How do I become a Private Investigator?” is, “What is the difference between a P.I., private investigator, private eye and private detective?”
Nothing, these terms are all used interchangeably. Some state licensing agencies may refer to those in the private investigation field by any of these terms though it is becoming increasingly common to also see the term “professional investigator” also being used. The business of investigation is typically defined as, “for consideration or payment, and on behalf of another person, group or business, performs the following activities:
A) Investigating crimes, threats and causes of loss or injury to persons, businesses, the state or government.
B) Determining the identification, location, movement, habits, reputation, credibility, associations, assets and transactions of another person, group, object or business.
C) Securing evidence to be used at civil or criminal trials, before investigative boards or arbitration committees.”
Some states have expanded the definition of the private investigator to include the location and recovery of bail-secured fugitives, collateral repossession professionals, forensic analysts and technicians, arson investigators, polygraph examiners and questioned document & handwriting experts as well.