The Role of the Bounty Hunter
Most of us have either watched or have heard of the TV show, “Bounty Hunter.” This show depicts the occupation of bounty hunting as being exciting, and even somewhat glamorous. The hard fact of the matter is, the reality is really quite different. While bounty hunters certainly do get their fair share of adrenalin rushes, their life revolves around tracking bail jumpers, and bringing them back before the court, on behalf of a bail bonds company.
The generic title for a bounty hunter is “bail enforcement agent,” or even “fugitive recovery agent.” Bounty hunters work for a percentage of the bond, which also happens to be known as a bounty.
When posting bail on behalf of a defendant, a bail bonds agency has already made it clear to that defendant, that they are to appear before the court when required. If the defendant decides to run, or “jump bail,” the bail bonds agency is in the unfortunate position of having to pay the full bail amount to the court. Sometimes this can be an incredible financial loss for the company. In this situation, some bail bonds companies will hire a bounty hunter, as opposed to losing such a large sum of money. The bounty hunter will then hunt down the bail jumper and bring them back before the court.
Only two countries allow bounty hunting, with the United States being one, and the Philippines the other. Having said that, not all states within the U.S.A. permit bounty hunting, Kentucky being one. In states that do permit it, bounty hunters have various rights. A bounty hunter is legally permitted to enter any property owned by the defendant as the United States law decrees that a defendant has given up their rights to the bail bond company. Bounty hunters are not permitted to enter the property of anyone else without permission.
A bounty hunter must first have written authorization from the bail bond agency prior to arresting a bail jumper. They also may not forcibly enter a property with the exception of pursuing under existing provisions of the law governing an arrest by a private person.
In the United States, bounty hunters claim to capture 90 percent of bail jumpers every year. This is an excellent result. This should give anyone considering jumping bail, cause to reconsider.