Bounty Hunters

A Bounty Hunter’s Role

The television show “Bounty Hunter,” has been popular entertainment for many Americans.  Unfortunately, there are those who may consider this profession to be exciting, and even glamorous, however, this is not always the case.  While it is true, that a bounty hunter will experience some adrenalin pumping moments, the majority of their time is spent trying to locate a bail jumper.  If they do manage to track down a bail jumper, they will detain the individual and return them to custody on behalf of a bail bonds agent, or firm.

The actual title for a bounty hunter is “bail enforcement agent,” or even “fugitive recovery agent.”  Bounty hunters work for an actual percentage of the bail bond, which is also known as a bounty.

Whenever a bail is posted for a defendant by a bail bonds agent, or agency, it is made very clear to the defendant that they are obligated to attend their court appearances.  In the event a defendant runs, or jumps bail, the bail bonds agent, or agency is then placed in the position of being responsible to pay the entire amount of the bail to the court.  In a lot of cases, rather than lose this money, the bail bonds agent, or agency will hire the services of a bounty hunter to return the defendant to custody.

There are actually only 2 countries that allow the profession of bounty hunting, and they are the United States, and the Philippines.  It is also a fact, however, that not every state in the United States, permits this profession either.  In states that do permit this profession, bounty hunters are afforded specific rights.  Bounty hunters are legally permitted to enter the property owned by a bail jumper in order to detain them.  This is due to the fact that the United States has decreed that once a defendant skips bail, they have forfeited their rights to the Bail Bonds agent, or agency who posted their bail.  A bounty hunter may not however, enter the property owned by anyone other than the bail jumper.

In order for a bounty hunter to make an arrest, they must have written authorization of the bail bond agent, or agency that they are working for.  They may not forcibly enter a property except under existing provisions of the law governing an arrest by a private citizen.

In the United States, bounty hunters claim to capture 90% of those who skip bail, on an annual basis.  This is a very high percentage, and should serve as a warning to any defendant considering skipping out on their bail.