You’ve heard the word. You’ve probably seen the tan, built reality star chasing after fugitives on television. Bounty hunters are extremely effective at their job, catching about 90 percent of fugitives they were after. They often have to physically track a fugitive wanted for a criminal offense. But what exactly is this occupation and how does it affect bail bonds?
What Are Bounty Hunters?
Bounty hunters are either self-employed or hired by bail bondsmen to track down people who have missed their court hearings or trials in criminal cases. A bail bondsman is the person who paid 10 percent of that person’s bail to get them out of jail. Bail bondsmen hire bounty hunters to track down the people that owe them money because if the fugitive eludes court and bail, then the bail bondsman is 100 percent responsible for paying the total bail amount for a crime they were not arrested for. Bail bondsmen can be anything from third-party insurance sellers to close friends or family.
The cost of hiring a bounty hunter is typically the 10 percent the bail bondsmen paid to get the fugitive out of jail. The bail bondsmen won’t save any money but it beats having to pay it all and potentially losing any collateral like your home or house you might have used to secure the money.
Some states require a bounty hunter to be licensed while others don’t. Each state has restrictions on what bounty hunters can and cannot do. Most states do not allow bounty hunters to carry a handgun. Research your state’s bounty hunter laws before hiring someone and make sure the bail enforcement agent complies to the law and knows what they are doing.