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Bounty Hunter

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Posted about 8 years ago


I'm looking for serious advice so please no pig headed macho B.S., Ok? I'm not sure if it differs from state to state but I was wondering if anyone knows how to get into the field of Bounty Hunting. Requirements, school, costs, etc. 


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Rate This | Posted about 8 years ago


I will tell you what I know. Requirements vary state to state. Bounty hunting is actually against the law in certain states (I think TN or KY would be one such state). The preferred, more professional term is Bail Enforcement. Guys who like to use bounty hunter want to be on TV or act like John Wayne. I suspect that is not what you want as you requested no macho BS.

The State of Connecticut I believe is still the leader in licensing for agents as far as annual renewals, certification, firearms registration, etc. Other states are trying to model themselves after CT but there may be other changes I am not aware of at this point. But the requirements are pretty lax to non-existent. Check your state licensing website or state police for state specific information. Google Bob Burton Bounty Hunter School for info on the training courses he offers, though the "training" is very limited. Something like a two or three day course.

While there are a few decent people working in this field, there are a lot that are not. In fact, it tends to attract a lot of wannabes or people that could never qualify for a regular law enforcement position. So you have to deal with that image or wonder about people you would work with.

Bail enforcers derive their power from the US Supreme Court decision of Taylor v. Taintor (1872). On the one hand you are free of certain 4th Amendment limitations of sworn officers, but they have no authority beyond a very limited scope. You work for bail bondsman, many of  whom are not exactly known for their honesty. Some are just as bad as the criminals they bail out. The pay can be sporadic, most bonds are small so don't think you are going to get rich. Far from it for most in the field.

Do you get people off the streets that don't belong there? Sometimes. But some of the downsides include:

-Last minute cases (bail bondsmen will often wait until the last few weeks before the bond expires hoping the PD will catch their jumper, they don't pay police for doing their job)

-Lawsuit waiting to happen. Your civil liability is very high. Remember, you don't have to do anything wrong to get sued. But proving that could cost a fortune and you have no union backing you. Insurance carriers are very few and pricey.

-Criminal liability. You can imagine how things can go wrong when someone thinks they understand the law but don't or an untrained, inexperienced individual can make an error in judgment.

-Working with questionable people. I know of some real trigger happy people in that field. I've heard stories out of Georgia about BHers torturing people! BHers working with the fugitives, pathologic liars, wannabe wingnuts. They all want to be Dog (another scumbag). I understand it is hard to find someone decent.

-Some police departments will not touch anyone who has worked in this field for a variety of reasons. So if you are interested because you want resume experience, be advised.

I don't mean to sound so negative because there are a few out there doing a decent job in this field, but it has a lot of pitfalls. Message me if you want any more info I can offer. Best of luck, stay safe.