Bail Enforcement Resources
As a bounty hunter your primary goal is to capture fugitives in order to enforce the terms of the bail bond, which is appearance in court without remaining in jail. Bail enforcement officers or bounty hunters are integral to the bail bond industry. Without the ability to return “bail jumpers” or fugitives to jail, bail bond agencies would not be able to sustain financial stability. The following tools and devices are integral to the fugitive recovery process.
Protective gear is essential for bounty hunting. Although some fugitives will be harmless, others may be violent and you must be prepared. Police grade gear including bullet-proof vests, steel-toed boots, eye protection, gloves and even night goggles for late night excursions should be a part of your kit.
Looking for fugitives is perhaps as much about investigation as it is about brute force. You must be able to first locate the suspect before you can arrest them, and having computer equipment to conduct research is vital to this process. Computer equipment will assist in your search through digital records, news sources, police databases, traffic tickets and vehicle registrations.
Once you capture the fugitive, you will need restraints like handcuffs, zip ties, and possibly special escape-proof areas of your vehicle to retain the fugitive. Remember that these are only needed in states where bounty hunters are allowed to arrest fugitives.
Like law enforcement officers, you must carry a weapon to protect yourself. Non-lethal weapons like pepper spray and tasers are popular among fugitive recovery agents, as are lethal weapons such as guns and knives. Not every state allows bounty hunters to carry guns, and deadly weapons should be used with extreme caution. You can easily find yourself in jail if you severely injure a fugitive. You should familiarize yourself with the state regulations for self-defense and weaponry use.
A vehicle is integral to your search since many fugitives travel long distances and often cross state lines when they skip bail. You will need a reliable vehicle to travel to the fugitive’s location and track their movements.
Other key resources for bounty hunters entail knowing the bounty hunting laws in each state. Regulations on the fugitive recovery process differ from state to state and it is a bounty hunter’s responsibility to understand these differences.
For instance, in California bounty hunters are required to notify the local police at least 6 hours prior to making an arrest. Bail enforcement agents are also required to wear a uniform in California. The state of Alaska, however, has few provisions for bounty hunters and allows both private citizens and bounty hunters to arrest fugitives. Arkansas, on the other hand, only allows private investigators, peace officers, and bondsman to act as bail enforcement officers, while Wisconsin has outlawed bounty hunting all together.