Our Founder

Dave Shafer, TBCI, CCDI

CEO/Chief Investigator

Dave Shafer began his career in the legal industry as a process server in 2008. As a process server, Dave learned valuable knowledge in the law, as it applies to the civil process and private investigations fields and specific aspects of the Texas Penal Code. He also acquired the invaluable skill of locating those who don’t want to be found. By 2011, he obtained his first individual PI license and went to work at Walton Security Protection. While working for Walton Security Protection, Dave learned the art of surveillance, being seen without being recognized, the importance of having a steady hand with a good camera, and the value of a well-written report. He also learned the importance of matching evidence with an offense’s elements and establishing solid working relationships with attorneys to help them better serve clients. This knowledge, experience, and learned skills make him an asset to his clients.

Immediately after first becoming licensed, Dave began working criminal defense cases. One of Dave’s first cases involved a man accused of committing three separate counts of Aggravated Kidnapping and three separate counts of Aggravated Robbery, for a total of six separate charges. The District Attorney’s office sought a total sentence of 50 years for the defendant, who was already in his 40s. Dave discovered the one piece of evidence that brought the entire case into question, resulting in the defendant receiving only five years of probation, which he successfully completed. Since then, Dave and his associates have discovered evidence exonerating the falsely accused in cases ranging from assault to murder, while aiding in the mitigation of cases against others. Dave’s record of success in criminal defense cases speaks for itself and has helped many criminal defense attorneys prevail.

Throughout the years, Dave also worked a lot of insurance fraud and has obtained evidence against persons engaging in insurance fraud, specifically worker’s compensation and auto accident/injury fraud. Examples of his work include an individual claiming neck and back pain, but was filmed lifting the gate to a landscaping trailer. A UPS worker claiming a spinal injury, but was filmed lifting a woman over his shoulder at a camping event. A gentleman filmed running a scrap hauling business while claiming injury from another employer. Dave’s ability and skill set to surveil have saved his clients a lot of money.

In 2014, Dave opened Shafer Investigations, and in 2020 changed the company name to Preferred Intelligence to best suit the clients we serve.

Throughout his career, Dave has taken courses explicitly relating to the services we provide. Courses include “Grasping at Heels: Deception Detection,” Private Investigator Surveillance, Social Media Investigations, Defeating Deception in Interviews, Auto Insurance Investigations, Proving Innocence, and many more. 

Dave was awarded the Texas Board Certified Investigator (TBCI) designation by TALI in 2022 and the nationally recognized Board Certified Criminal Defense Investigator (CCDI) designation by CDITC in 2024.

While the State of Texas requires 18 continuing education hours for Private Investigators every two years, Dave well exceeds those requirements of 18 continuing education hours by obtaining 18 hours every year to maintain his TCBI designation and 10 every two years in the field of criminal defense to maintain his CCDI designation.

Additionally, Dave is an active member of the Texas Association of Licensed Investigators, the Criminal Defense Investigations Training Council, the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and the Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.