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Private Investigator Services Fees in Tennessee

How Much Does a Private Investigator Cost in Tennessee?


How Much Does a Private Investigator Cost?

There are many reasons a person or business may need to hire a licensed private investigator. There are several factors you should know before hiring a private investigator, and that includes their pricing structure. One of the main questions The Dillon Agency is often asked is "How much does it cost to hire a private investigator?" The answer, while always contractually set when you hire us, is that it varies. Unfortunately, not all cases are the same, and therefore, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to an investigation. 

To speak with a licensed private investigator about our costs, contact us here. 

Flat Rate Fee vs. Hourly Rate Fee

While some services can be quoted at a flat rate, doing so for other services will only put the client at a disadvantage and most likely have a negative financial impact on the result of the investigation. The types of services that are typically set at a flat rate fee are:

  • Background Check

  • Identifying the ownership of a telephone number

  • Conducting a Skip Trace Investigation or Locating a Person

  • Conducting a Bug Sweep 

  • Checking a vehicle for a GPS device

Mobile Phone and Computer Forensic Investigation

The reason The Dillon Agency can offer these services on a flat rate basis is that these cases tend to be straightforward processes that either have a standard process for obtaining the information or we have relationships where our costs are controlled, and we can pass those savings onto our clients. It is important to understand that while the service you require is typically a flat-rate service, there are always exceptions where it may not be feasible to charge a flat rate. 

Hourly Rate Fee Services

Larger investigations tend to require more hours, which are typically billed at an hourly rate. Cases that require in-depth investigations or research, such as surveillance, comprehensive background checks, pulling court documents from multiple locations, and witness statements, are a few examples where an hourly rate would be charged. The industry's standard hourly rate ranges between $85 and $150 per hour. While there tends to be a wide range in the hourly rate, most cases are billed at the lower hourly rate. Some of the types of services that are billed at an hourly rate are:

  • Surveillance

  • Witness Statements

  • Extensive Missing Person Investigations

  • Criminal Defense Cases

  • Complex Service of Process

  • Cheating Spouse/Infidelity Cases

  • Lifestyle Checks

  • Insurance Fraud Investigations


The Importance of Setting an Investigation Budget

We cannot express to clients how important it is to set an initial investigation budget for your case. This is important for several reasons.

1. It establishes a monetary limit for the amount of money you are willing to spend on your investigation.

2. It allows the private investigator and you to determine what the priority issues are to be investigated versus the "let’s investigate everything" approach. 

3. It provides an opportunity to have routine assessments of your case to monitor that it is headed in the right direction, that time is not being spent on areas that are no longer beneficial for the case, and lastly, it keeps the client in control of the amount of money they are spending on the investigation.

Hiring a licensed private investigator is an investment in your situation, and like any investment, you need to make wise decisions and be a good steward of your resources. 

The Investigation Fee Deposit

An investigation fee deposit, also known as a retainer payment, is an initial deposit you place into an account that covers a set number of hours to be worked on your case. Fee deposits often include projected costs that are anticipated in your case. As your case is work, the hours and expenses incurred will be applied to that deposit. Once the deposit is exhausted, it’s a great time to review where your case is at and make the determination to continue the case or close it. If you have ever hired an attorney, you most likely have experienced how a fee deposit works. 

Why is Hiring a Licensed Private Investigator Worth the Investment?

Hiring a licensed private investigator is an investment, not only in your case but, many times, in your life. Because of this, making sure the private investigator you hire has the experience and a proven track record is important. As the old saying goes, cheap isn’t good, and good isn’t cheap. This is never truer than when hiring a private investigator. Like an attorney, an experienced investigator charges more for their time as they have invested in their careers and developed the necessary skills to properly obtain the evidence your case requires. Nobody wants to pay their investigator to learn how to investigate their case. 

When consulting with an investigator, you want to ask them what their plan of approach would be for your case. This is where you will get your first glimpse of their experience level. An experienced investigator should be able to tell you how they would investigate your case without hesitation based on the information you provide. Be ready to answer a lot of questions, as this will help the investigator get a better understanding of your case. Before you hire a private investigator, consult with them about their cost and how long they expect your case to last based on the answers you need. Often, these initial consultations are free. Also, be sure to have a detailed contract and conclude the case with an itemized list of expenses and records of activities so the associated charges are clear. Your investigator should also let you know about any other costs that come up during the investigation.

While hiring a private investigator can be daunting and prices may seem to add up, a quality investigation can successfully answer your questions. Hiring a private investigator is often worth the money if it gives you peace of mind and helps you find the truth.

Experienced Investigators

Our combined Experience makes us a leader in the Private Investigation Industry. Proven results by proven experienced professionals, one valued client at a time! 


Ability to Stay
One Step Ahead

We believe in continuing education for all our team members to ensure they remain up to date and have the skills needed to handle any case successfully and competently.

Knowledge That Can Serve Your Needs

We are in a fact-finding business where results matter. Therefore PI NEAR ME Agency – a full service Private Investigator is focused on obtaining facts that produce results where it matters most, in the courtroom.

Call us Directly for a NO Obligation review at (615) 455-8163

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We understand the URGENCY! We will get back to You as soon as possible!

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