How to Become a Bounty Hunter in Georgia
In Georgia, most bounty hunters belong to a labor organization called the Georgia Association of Professional Bondsman. The GAPB is a great resource for established Bounty Hunters and a place of support and guidance for new members. GAPB offers the continuing education courses that the state requires for license renewal. It also offers networking events, industry networking events, and its own code of ethics to supplement Georgia state law.
According to the GAPB’s chief instructor, Tommy Ford, it can be very difficult for a newly licensed and inexperienced bounty hunter to maintain a private business in Georgia. This is mainly because the bail bondsmen who hire bounty hunters to apprehend fugitives are directly responsible for the bounty hunters behavior. That is, if the bounty hunter breaks the law, the bondsman is criminally liable.
Naturally, bondsmen are very careful about who they hire, and generally only work with the best and most experienced bounty hunters around. Therefore, young and untested bounty hunters would do well to work or train under an established bail enforcement professional in order to hone skip tracing skills and build relationships with the state’s bondsmen.
Become a Bounty Hunter in Georgia
Obtaining a license to work as a bounty hunter in Georgia is not difficult, as long as you meet all of the requirements. People interested in becoming fugitive trackers in Georgia should be at least 25 years old, be eligible for a weapons permit and have 8 hours of state-approved initial education under their belt. Both the state and the GAPB keep a list of quality instructors.
In order to become licensed as a bounty hunter in Georgia, you should prepare to authenticate all of your personal information and history with official documents. You will need to prove the following: you are an American citizen, you are over 25, you are not a convicted felon, you are a resident of the state of Georgia, you are authorized or eligible to carry a firearm within Georgia and you have a decent credit report.
If you can satisfy all of the above, obtaining a bounty hunting license in Georgia is only a matter of completing and submitting the necessary paperwork before official deadlines. In some cases, when a candidate’s moral character comes into question based on minor legal infractions of the sort that would not result in outright disqualification, an interview with the county Sherriff may be arranged.
Once you have passed through initial evaluation and approved for licensure, you will be required to obtain an identification card and schedule the mandatory 8 hour initial education course. The course is lecture-based and can be completed in a single day. In the course, fresh licensees learn Georgia’s bounty hunting statutes, industry standards and best practices.
At the conclusion of the 8 hour lecture, graduates are ready to work as bounty hunters. Before the end of each year, every bounty hunter must return to a state approved academy for continuing education.
For better opportunities as a bounty hunter in Georgia, finishing a degree in criminal justice, public administration or sociology will make you stand out from competing bondsmen. Furthermore, a relevant degree will open up opportunities in related criminal justice careers, such as state patrol or as a corrections officer.