This is the State of Georgia's definition of a "Private detective business" which means the business of obtaining or furnishing, or accepting employment to obtain or to furnish, information with reference to:
(A) Crimes or wrongs done or threatened against the United States of America or any state or territory thereof;
(B) The background, identity, habits, conduct, business, employment, occupation, assets, honesty, integrity, credibility, knowledge, trustworthiness, efficiency, loyalty, activity, movement, whereabouts, affiliations, associations, transactions, acts, reputation, or character of any person;
(C) The location, disposition, or recovery of lost or stolen property;
(D) The cause or responsibility for fires, libels, losses, accidents, damage, or injury to persons or property;
(E) The securing of evidence in the course of the private detective business to be used before any court, board, officer, or investigating committee; or
(F) The protection of individuals from serious bodily harm or death.
This definition is common amongst many states inside of the U.S. and covers the overall aspects of the profession.
The short answer in Georgia specifically is Yes. The answer to this question is typically no, but this also depends on the state you live in. Most states have laws allowing private citizens to arrest people who commit certain crimes within their presence or allow them to stop those who are attempting to escape or flee from a crime that was just committed. The State of Georgia has said that Private Detectives have the right to detain and the State of Georgia Case Law has said that Private Detectives may arrest for crimes committed in their presence. I have cited the following laws which regard to powers of private individuals to detain and make arrests in Georgia.
Title 17 - Criminal Procedure
Chapter 4: Arrest of Persons
Article 5. Detention by Private Individuals
O.C.G.A. 17-4-80 Limited Detention by Certain Private Individuals for Certain Offenses; Definitions; Involvement of Law Enforcement; Defenses; Limited Use of Force
a. As used in this article, the terms:
b. A private person may detain an individual if such private person is:
c. A private person who detains an individual under this Code section shall either release said individual or, within a reasonable time, contact the law enforcement unit with appropriate jurisdiction. An individual detained by a private person under this Code section who is not released shall be surrendered to a law enforcement officer together with any personal belongings removed from such individual.
The laws have changed and here are some general considerations and references in regards to arrests made by private persons:
Offense Committed in Presence or Within Knowledge
Private detective may arrest
- Private detective may arrest offenders who commit crimes in the detective's presence. DuPree v. State, 153 Ga. 798, 113 S.E. 428 (1922) (decided under former Penal Code 1910, § 921).
The answer to this is yes, however they do have a few exceptions. They can not carry on federal government property unless there is an agreement with the federal government or they are working for them. The reason they can not carry on federal government property is because there are no federal laws allowing private detectives or investigators the permit to carry on their properties unless they are working for them and an agreement has been reached which most likely will not be the case. Besides that Private Detectives and Investigators in the State of Georgia can carry anywhere in the state, exposed or concealed, with a special permit from the Private Detective and Security Licensing Board. This means you can carry in government buildings as a Private Detective with a Special Permit issued. This is not legal advice and should not be misconstrued as such advice. I have cited the following laws which regard to carrying on duty as a Private Detective or Investigator in the State of Georgia.
Chapter 38: Operators of Private Detective Businesses and Private Security Businesses
O.C.G.A. 43-38-10 Permits to carry firearms; proficiency requirement; exemption from specified laws; denial, refusal to renew, and suspension of permits; effect of license suspension and restoration
(a) The board may grant a permit to carry a pistol, revolver, or other firearm to any person who is a license holder as defined in Code Section 16-11-125.1, who is licensed or registered in accordance with this chapter, and who meets the qualifications and training requirements set forth in this Code section and such other qualifications and training requirements as the board by rule may establish. The board shall have the authority to establish limits on type and caliber of such weapons by rule. Application for such permit and for renewal thereof shall be made on forms provided by the division director. No weapons permit issued under this Code section shall be transferable to another individual.
(c) All licensees and registrants under this chapter shall be required to obtain from the board a weapons permit under this Code section if a firearm is carried, or is to be carried, by such licensee or registrant while at or en route directly to and from his post or place of employment.
(d) Any licensee or registrant under this chapter meeting the qualifications and training requirements set out in this Code section may be issued an exposed weapons permit in accordance with this Code section and shall be authorized to carry such firearm in an open and fully exposed manner. Such carrying of a firearm shall be limited to the time the licensee or registrant is on duty or en route directly to and from his post or place of employment. No stopover en route to and from such post or place of employment is permitted under the terms of this Code section.
(e) Licensees or registrants under this chapter may apply to the board for a concealed weapons permit. Qualifications and training requirements for such permits and restrictions on such permits shall be established by appropriate rules of the board. The board shall, in its discretion, consider and approve each application for a concealed weapons permit on an individual basis.
(f) An individual issued a permit in accordance with this Code section shall be exempt from the following laws of this state:
(1) Code Section 16-11-126, relating to carrying a weapon;
(2) Code Section 16-11-127, relating to carrying a weapon or long gun in an unauthorized location; and
(3) Code Section 16-11-129, relating to licenses to carry weapons generally.
Yes, you have to be licensed to conduct any private investigative activity in the State of Georgia however, there are exemptions. I have cited the following laws which regard to licensing as a Private Detective.
Chapter 38: Operators of Private Detective Businesses and Private Security Businesses
O.C.G.A. 43-38-6 Licenses; qualifications; criminal records; fingerprints; bond, insurance, or net worth affidavit; display of license; suspension; temporary permits; license recognition agreements
(a) Any individual, firm, association, company, partnership, limited liability company, or corporation desiring to engage in the private detective or private security business in this state shall make a verified application to the division director for a license therefor. If the applicant is a firm, association, company, partnership, limited liability company, or corporation, the person filing the application on behalf of such firm, association, company, partnership, limited liability company, or corporation shall be a corporate officer of such corporation or an officer of such firm, association, partnership, or limited liability company; and such individual shall meet the qualifications set out in this Code section.
There is no difference in the private sector, however, in law enforcement there is a difference. Some states just like to use different names. A great example is Florida and Georgia. Florida refers to them as Private Investigators and Georgia refers to them as Private Detectives. Generally speaking, they both have the same investigative abilities but some things they are allowed to do can vary by state law. Do you want to know more about the difference between a Detective and Investigator in the public sector, like Law Enforcement? Click on the question titled, "What is the difference between a Detective and Investigator in Law Enforcement?".
The difference between a Detective and Investigator in Law Enforcement is that a Detective is promotable and an Investigator is not. Many cities have Detectives, which can be Officers, Corporals, Sergeants, and Lieutenants. They are all Detectives and can be promoted as a Detective. Many Counties and State agencies have Investigators which are typically assigned positions with various investigative duties.
They usually range from Officer, Corporal, and Sergeant. They are not promotable positions, unlike Detectives. This means that Detectives can stay in the same investigative department inside an agency while getting pay raises and a new rank. Investigators typically have to relinquish their assigned position and take tests to be promoted however, there is no guarantee they will be in the same unit or conducting investigations if you are promoted to Sergeant.
There is another significant difference as well. Detectives can typically be assigned to a Detectives Bureau or Criminal Investigation Division, which do not necessarily focus on specific investigations, and handle all types of cases. Investigators are typically assigned to a specific unit with a certain investigative duty and only handle crimes that fall into their unit's types of cases or jurisdiction. A good example is Detectives assigned to the Investigations Division can be assigned cases in Auto Theft, Homicide, Sex Crimes, and Computer Crimes. Investigators assigned to an Auto Theft Unit would only be assigned cases in Auto Theft.
If Investigators were to come across a crime in Sex Crimes then they would hand over that case to the Sex Crimes Unit or work in conjunction with them if they are apart of the same case. It is very rare for cases to be handed over fully to another unit and there are usually special circumstances if they are handed over completely. This is great for Investigators by the way because they specialize in certain types of cases or investigative assignments while Detectives typically do not specialize in certain assignments but they do still attend different training to be familiar with a variety of cases.
Yes, we can conduct investigations in another State as long as the case originated out of Georgia and there is Reciprocity with that State. We can currently continue investigations into California, Florida, North Carolina, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Virginia, Tennessee, and Alabama.
Prices for Private Detectives can vary due to experience. They can typically range anywhere from $75 an hour to $350 an hour nationwide and no good investigator would charge less then $75 an hour. Some services are different as well, which can fluctuate pricing. A good example would be a basic background check, which could cost $50 versus Surveillance, which is charged by the hour at $100. These are just examples. If you are interested in finding out our pricing please contact us by filling out our contact form on our contact page. This will allow us to better assist you and determine your needs.
If you want more information on how much a private investigator cost, please consider reading our blog post, which contains more information. The blog post can be found under the website blog.
Our agency has gone through rigorous qualifications, examinations, and we are accredited by the State of Georgia as a Private Detective Company, which means we meet all of the requirements by law and by the Georgia Board of Private Detectives and Security Agencies standards.
There are many different Private Detective agencies in Georgia. They all may do different things however, we have a variety of investigations we can conduct due to experience and background in many industries like Law Enforcement, Private Investigations, Private Security, Executive Protection, Protective Services, Retail, Home Improvement, Automotive Industry, Information Technology and Military Operations.
We specialize in the following types of investigations: Skip Tracing, Missing Persons, Evidence Recovery, Traffic Crash, Traffic Stops, Surveillance, Background Checks, Pre-Employment Screening, Property Searches, Child Abuse, Narcotics, Sex Crimes, Civil, Criminal, Fraud, Corruption, Officer-Involved incidents and Civil Rights.
Yes, we can run a License plate. Reach out to us for more information!