Bounty Hunters also go by a couple different names. They are considered Bail Enforcement Agents, Fugitive Recovery Agent, and Bail Agent, just to name a few. Essentially, a Bounty Hunter is a freelance agent who is paid to apprehend defendants who have jumped bail or have fled.
Job of Bounty Hunter
A Bounty Hunter is usually a private citizen who works for Bondsmen, usually on a freelance basis. While the Bounty Hunter doesn’t have the authority to arrest anyone because he isn’t a police officer, he is hired to find the defendant and bring them back into custody. If this task is not completed within a certain amount of time, which can be anywhere from a few days to a few years, the job is not paid. So Bounty Hunters work long and hard to get their guy (or girl) so their efforts are rewarded.
Depending on the state where he or she works determines whether or not the Bounty Hunter can carry a weapon. They are permitted across state lines to follow leads while pursuing the defendant. Generally, no warrant is necessary between state lines, either.
Bounty Hunters are not permitted to break laws but there is more tolerance than given to police due to the nature of the job. However, they are never permitted to harm the defendant in any way.
Educational Requirements for Bounty Hunters
The minimum requirements to become a Bounty Hunter vary by state. Most require a valid driver’s license, pre-licensing training and certification, residency of the state of employment, and specific age requirements.
If you have a felony or misdemeanor conviction, you may not be able to pursue this career depending on which state you reside in. Also, certain states have specific statutes which prohibit lawyers, judicial officers, and law enforcement specialists from becoming Bounty Hunters.
Laws for how Bounty Hunters are expected to behave vary from state to state. The number of training hours to receive a Bounty Hunter license also varies however the core classes are fairly similar. Courses in state laws, the legal system, investigative techniques, recovery methods, capture and care of fugitives, and bail law. They will also learn proper use of firearms. Course work is both hands-on and within a classroom and there is required continuing education.
Bounty Hunters must become bonded while their license is active and the amount is determined by the state in which they are employed.
How Much Do Bounty Hunters Earn?
Bounty Hunters are typically paid on commission. Each defendant they apprehend, they may receive between 10% and 20% of the bond. The more skilled the Bounty Hunter, the more they can earn. Also, the more dangerous the fugitive, the bigger the commission.
Experienced Bounty Hunters can have 80-150 cases a year. This translates to roughly $50,000-$80,000 annually. The hours are not typical 9-5 and many Bounty Hunters find themselves working up to 100 hours per week, find a school now.