Quite a few people think that bail bondsmen are bounty hunters. This is nothing surprising. Anyone looking for information about bounty hunters online ends up with bondsmen information.
But few realize that these are two different professions. They do work together, and for the same reasons. The best way to know the differences between the two is by learning about their roles.
What do bail bondsmen do?
Bail bondsmen are people who make loans for arrestees and help them post a bond to get released. This is why the state’s insurance board regulates bail bond agents. They also have a property and casualty insurance license to conduct business.
Bailsmen risk losing lots of money if defendants don’t attend court. So bail bond agencies use bounty hunters to help resolve their financial problems.
Who are bounty hunters?
Bounty hunters are also sometimes referred to as bail recovery agents. They work with bail bondsmen, who pay them to track and arrest delinquent criminals.
In fact, these agencies keep functioning because of bounty hunters. It’s because they help bring back fugitives to face their charges. Many bail agencies would have ceased functioning without their help.
Are bail bondsmen like bail recovery agents?
No, they are two different people who work on their own. Yes, there are some states which permit a bail agent to double as a bounty hunter. While both have their respective roles, one person may sometimes perform both roles.
Bounty hunters start looking for a fugitive only after the bail bondsmen gives orders.
Some states have strict rules and licensing requirements to become a bounty hunter. The typical requirements include:
· Being 18 years or older
· Not having any prior convictions or felonies
· Should be able to provide character references
· Will have to register with the local law enforcement agency.
How bounty hunters work
Bounty hunters or bail recovery agents start their search by talking to friends and families. This is to assess where the fugitive may most be. They stake out at prospective spots to locate the criminal or fugitive.
They are allowed to enter the fugitive’s house to make an arrest. But they need the warrant to enter any other house.
A bounty hunter’s job is not easy.
If they are lucky they will be able to locate the fugitive within a few hours or days. They otherwise end up spending a few weeks or months locating the fugitive. Most of the time they have to return the fugitive within a fixed time set by statute.
They are usually paid 10% of the bond amount for their services. The rates may fluctuate, and be higher if the person is difficult to locate. It’s in these cases that the arrested fugitive returns to the bail bond agency or/and court or jail.
All bail bondsmen work and strive to never have to hire bounty hunters. It proves expensive for them.
They, first of all, have to pay the entire bond amount if a fugitive doesn’t attend court. And then there’s the additional bounty hunter percentage to pay if they locate the fugitive.
When do bounty hunters go after the criminal?
As mentioned earlier, they start working only when the bail agent tells them to do so. The bail recovery agent may sometimes start working even before the defendant misses court.
A typical example is where the bond’s co-signer isn’t sure about the defendant showing up in court. The person can in this situation, pay the bondsman a recovery fee. The fee lets the bounty hunter arrest the defendant at an early date. The defendant’s capture terminates their risks and obligations to the bondsman.
The defendant has some time because surrendering to the court. He/she will stay somewhere in the bail agent’s custody and can try to find another co-signer.
However, the arrestee will have to surrender if he can’t find someone.
Remember, it’s a bail bond agency that helps you post bail so that you are set free. The only reason you may interact with a bounty hunter is if you miss your court date. You do not meet any bounty hunter when you get arrested.
If arrested, expert bail bond agencies like Josh Herman-A Bail Bond Agency can help. They will help you post bail and through the bail process so that bounty hunters don’t track you down!