The Role of a Bounty Hunter
Most people have either seen, or heard of the TV show “Bounty Hunter.” Some people may even consider this an exciting, or even glamorous occupation, however, the reality is very different. While they may experience some adrenalin pumping moments, a bounty hunter’s life consists mainly of finding bail jumpers, and returning them to custody, on behalf of a bail bonds company.
A bounty hunter’s generic title is “bail enforcement agent,” or “fugitive recovery agent.” These people work for a percentage of the bond, which is also known as a bounty.
When a bail bonds company posts bail on behalf of a defendant, one of the provisos for assisting this person, was for them to attend their court dates. If they run, the bail bonds company, has to pay the full bail amount. Should this eventuate, the bail bonds agency may choose to hire a bounty hunter, rather than lose a large amount of money. The bounty hunter’s prime objective is to track down the defendant, and bring them back to court.
Even though only the United States, and the Philippines permit bounty hunting, not all states in the U.S permit it, Kentucky being one such state. Those states in the U.S. that do allow it, grant bounty hunters various unique rights. A bounty hunter may enter any property owned by a defendant who has jumped bail, due to the fact that the U.S. Law states that the defendant has indeed given up their rights to the bail bond company. A bounty hunter may not, however, enter any other person’s property without invitation.
In order to arrest a bail jumper, the bounty hunter must have written authorization from the bail bond agent, and can not forcibly enter a property, except pursuant to certain existing provisions of the law that govern an arrest by a private person.
Bounty hunters in the United States claim to capture 90% of bail jumpers annually. This is a very good percentage. The bottom line here is, if you are a defendant who is out on a bail bond, you would be well advised to appear at all scheduled court dates, and deal with the matter.