What is a Bounty Hunter?
A bounty hunter helps to capture a fugitive and receives a monetary reward for their services. The person who captures fugitives is often referred to as a bail enforcement agent or a fugitive recovery agent as well. The person usually works for a bail bondsman, and the enforcement agent is usually paid about 10 percent of what the fugitive paid for their bond release.
State Laws for a Bounty Hunter
Several states prohibit the use of a bond enforcement agent, and their statutes or case laws are provided below:
· Wisconsin: §969.12 states that no person or insurance company can receive compensation as part of bond enforcement.
· Oregon: State v. Epps, 585 P.2d 425 ended the rights of many bond agents and enforcement agents and gave limited rights to enforcements agents taking defendants over state lines in the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act
· Illinois: State Chapter 725 §§5/110-7, 5/110-8 eliminated the bail bond industry in the state and Schilb v. Kuebel made bail bonds persons illegal
· Kentucky: Statute §431.510 makes the commercial bail bond industry illegal, and Revised Statute §440.270 states all bond agents form another state must show a warrant
Three states allow for a freelance bounty hunter. Florida bond enforcement agents must be a resident of the state and over 18, have no criminal record, and pass a certification course as well. North Carolina’s laws are similar to Florida’s. South Carolina requires the same procedures, but the bond enforcement agent must a clean record for the past ten years.
State’s Requiring a Bounty Hunter License
Numerous states require a bond enforcement agent to have a large amount of qualifications and training. These states require a background check and a training class of some sort, and the state’s indicate that a bond agent cannot wear clothes that make them appear as a state or federal authoritative figure.
States that require a specific license for a bond enforcement agent include the following: Arizona, Connecticut, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia, Washington, and Delaware.
States Requiring Certification
Other states require some kind of certification instead of a license. Some of these states require a training course, and some states even require the bail enforcement agent to carry liability insurance to cover damages that may occur during a recovery activity. These states require the bail enforcement agents to notify local authoritative bodies, and the agents cannot wear badges or uniforms that make them appear as police officers or security guards.
States with certification requirements include the following: New Hampshire, Georgia, Colorado, Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, and California.
Can a Bounty Hunter Carry a Gun?
Again, carrying a gun is determined by the state of the bounty hunter. Some states strictly forbid a bail enforcement agent from carrying a gun while pursuing a fugitive, but other states allow for firearms. If you are interested in becoming a bounty hunter, it’s important to regard state law before you do anything.