Bounty Hunters

The Role of a Bounty Hunter

A lot of people today have probably watched, or at least heard of the TV show,  “Bounty Hunter.” Some people may even believe this to be a glamorous career, having said that, the reality is completely different. While it is true that bounty hunters can have some adrenalin pumping moments, the majority of their time is spent trying to locate a bail jumper. If they can in fact locate the bail jumper, they will attempt to detain them, and return them to custody.

The bounty hunter’s formal title is in fact “bail enforcement agent,” or alternatively “fugitive recovery agent.” Bounty hunters work for a percentage of the bond, also called a bounty. Whenever a bail bonds firm posts bail on behalf of an accused, the accused pledges to appear at their court dates. If the defendant runs, the bail bonds firm, is responsible to pay for the total bail amount. Rather than face losing this amount of money, many bail bonds firms will employ a bounty hunter.  The bounty hunter’s task is to return the defendant back to custody, so the bail bond firm is absolved of this debt.

The United States, and the Philippines are the only two countries that permit the occupation of bounty hunting.  Having said that, there are some states within the U.S.A, that do not permit it at all.  The states in the United States that do permit this industry, afford bounty hunters certain legal rights.  Bounty hunters may enter any property owned by a bail jumper.  This right is extended as the United States Law states that the bail jumper has now forfeited their rights to the bail bond company.

Bounty hunters are not, however, permitted to walk in to someone else’s property without permission.  They also require written authorization from their bail bond firm, before they can arrest a bail jumper.  The only time they may enter a property not owned by the defendant is when pursuant to specific existing provisions involving the laws that govern an arrest by a private individual.

Bounty hunters in the United States claim to recover 90% of bail jumpers per annum.  This great percentage should serve as a warning to any defendant considering skipping out on their bail.