Do you need a bounty hunter license to work as a bail bonds or fugitive recovery agent The answer varies according to many case-specific criteria. A fugitive recovery license is mandated by some governmental jurisdictions, but in many states and countries, there is virtually no regulation on the requirements needed to work as a bounty hunter.
Times may be changing for bounty hunters, since there is growing pressure on municipalities to provide some measure of standardized regulation when it comes to training and qualifications in order to preserve the safety of the public and preserve the rights of many of the people who come in contact with bounty hunters during their assignments.
This essay examines the trend towards licensure for fugitive recovery agents in the United States and abroad.
What is a Bounty Hunter License
In areas where fugitive recovery is legal, there may or may not be regulations for licensure. In a few domestic locales, and in most international destinations, bounty hunting is altogether illegal and may subject the hunter to severe criminal penalties.
In regulated areas, there are usually many rules which must be followed by bounty hunters, ranging from submission to a background check or criminal record search to fingerprinting to swearing-in as a peace officer. Applicants for licensure may have to provide proof of training or internship with an established bail bonds agency. Some might require a specific number of work hours as an intern in order to qualify as individual license holders. In areas where licensure is needed, there is usually a requirement for the holder to maintain a surety bond and general business insurance.
In a great number of states, there are few, if any regulations placed on bounty hunters and no licensure or dedicated bonding is required.
Before working as a bail enforcement agent in any region, it is always necessary to contact the local regulatory agencies involved and inquire about the licensure requirements for each area worked. Since bounty hunters must often travel in pursuit of their targets, this can be a complex task, but is usually performed by office staff within their agency.
Bounty Hunter License Facts
The bail bonds industry itself is one of the primary voices calling out for increased regulation of the vocation. Professional bail bonds agents realize that their future may be in jeopardy if under-qualified and untrained persons enter the workforce unsupervised. It is for this reason that many legislators are considering or acting on drafting specialized laws governing exactly who can hunt bounty and how.
Although there are rules in place for proper bounty hunting procedures in almost every municipality, the exact nature of these ordinances is often rather vague, allowing bail enforcement agents to have a bit too much freedom in their job descriptions for the public good.
In areas of the world that do not have a bail system, bounty hunters might still exist. However, in these countries these agents work exclusively to apprehend fugitives from justice, as profit-motivated assistants to police. In this capacity, these agents might be considered para-law enforcement officers and might also require training, certification and licensure in order to work legally.
Bounty Hunter License Conclusion
If you intend to begin work hunting bounty, or attempting to secure the return of wanted fugitives, make sure that you fully understand the letter of the law, including the possibility that you may need to be officially trained, certified and /or licensed.
If you are considering hiring a new bounty hunter to join your bail bonds enforcement company, make sure that the person you choose will be an asset and will represent the best interests of your firm. Above all else, make sure that they are licensed, if required.
No business can afford to retain an undocumented rogue operative who may go above and beyond their legal limits in order to make captures. In the end, these types of bounty hunters almost always end up in custody themselves. Remember, when employed by a firm, the actions of a rebel bounty hunter can be traced back to their employer, potentially exposing the company to the risk of criminal charges, civil litigation or financial penalties.