The 3 Important Things You Must Do Or Know Before Becoming A Bounty Hunter

Bounty hunting is a growing profession. Some people say the growth is due to Dog the Bounty Hunterand his reality television show. Others attribute the growth to increasing unsafe world and the need for the average Joe to help make it a safer.


Whatever the reason is, it must be pointed out this not a profession for the faint at heart. Those who wish to enter it must be committed and willing to give it their all. For this reason, this article will address the 3 important things people entering this profession must know or do before they start.

In no particular order, they are:

1. Those entering the profession must be willing to invest the time to get the proper training. This is a profession that is highly looked at. So much so that some states or countries do not allow it.

The right training will keep you from breaking the law. Believe it or not, you can be arrested if you don’t do things the right way or do it in places where bounty hunting is not allowed or frowned at.

Dog the Bounty Hunter is a perfect example of what I’m talking about. Even with his record of capturing more than 6,500 bail jumpers, this did not keep him from running afoul of the Mexican law. He wasarrested by Mexican authorities for capturing the rapist and fugitive, Andrew Luster. All evidence showed that he never broke Mexican laws. The only thing that could be deduced from the arrest is that the Mexican authorities frowned at his capturing Andrew Luster in their country.

2. Somebody entering the profession of bounty hunting must know that their life could be at risk any time. This is like law enforcement work. You may have to deal with hardcore criminals. These types of criminals do not take kindly to being captured. So much so that they will go to the extent of shooting at you when you try to arrest them.

Those entering this profession must be ready for this. This is where proper training as explained above also helps.

3. Aspiring future bounty hunters must know the job requires traveling. You may be away from friends and family for extended periods of time.

Again taking Dog the Bounty Hunter as an example, going into Mexico to capture Andrew Luster was not a day’s job. He had to stay in Mexico for days, tracking down his suspect. Then after tracking him down, he had to devise tactics to capture or arrest him.

I have covered the 3 important things I believe you must know or do before becoming a bounty hunter. As you know, there are other things you also have to know. Covering all of the things you have to know, is beyond what I can do in this short article. I invite you to continue to expand your knowledge of bounty hunting and the things you need to know by visiting websites that deal with the subject in more detail.


Copywrite Kenneth Echie. Kenneth is a writer for Criminal Justice Schools. Get free scholarship and grant report and learn all the things you need to become a Bounty Hunter by visiting. Also visit our affiliated website for: Continuing Education


Become a Bounty Hunter

Becoming a Bounty Hunter is not a normal job. A person who wants to work as a bounty hunter needs to know the specific requirements for the job. A bounty hunters job is not a regular career. Bounty hunting is not legal in all states. Some states have laws against bounty hunting. It is important to know the laws, as well as, knowing where it is legal and illegal to bounty hunt.

The first requirement to becoming a bounty hunter is age. A bounty hunter must be at least 21 years old. Many states require a person who wants to become a bounty hunter is a minimum of 21 years of age. This age limit is due to the legality of carrying concealed weapons. Most states will not allow anyone under the age of 21 to apply for or obtain a permit to carry a weapon. Bounty hunters carry weapons to protect themselves.

The second requirement to become a Bounty hunter is to know the bail laws and the laws pertaining to bail bond hunting of your state. There are no rules to bail bond recovery. The laws relate to bounty hunting vary from state to state. Some of these laws include: licenses and certification, power of attorney, and etc. good knowledge of bail laws and the United States Judicial System is a must. Fugitive recovery agents need to have plenty of knowledge when it comes to bail laws so they are able to follow the proper procedure when capturing a criminal.

A third requirement to become a bounty hunter is proper attire and equipment.  Bounty hunters have clothes that will identify who they are. A bail bond recovery agent must have personal protection   to keep themselves safe. So of this equipment could be: Kevlar vests, tasers, mace, etc.

Once you meet the requirements you will learn about surveillance, negotiations, skip tracing, apprehension and fugitive recovery. If you find work with a bail bond company to trace and capture criminals, you will find these online tools invaluable. To become a bounty hunter, you want to know as much as possible about bond investigations. Learning to become a bounty hunter will provide you the ability to work cases independently using your skills to bring individuals to the law. There is a shortage of skilled trained people who can do the job.

 – About the Author:


California Bail Bondsmen and Bounty Hunters

For many people, the term “bounty hunter” evokes images from Wild West movies where deputized citizens were given legal authority to bring back wanted individuals “dead or alive” in return for a “handsome reward”. Worse yet, is the image portrayed by the likes of “Dog” the Bounty Hunter. This quasi fictional character which portends to be reality TV, gives the industry a bad name. If all Bounty Hunters were that heavy-handed we’d all be sued for civil rights violations! The scene and casting for this high-stakes drama has certainly changed but bounty hunting is in fact still very much a part of the American system of justice today. In 1873 the US Supreme Court defined the rights of bounty hunters as agents of bail bondsmen in the case of Taylor v. Taintor.  Hence the real name for bounty hunters is “bail fugitive recovery agents”.

The basis of bounty hunting is rooted in the bail bond process used in the United States.  The purpose of bail is to allow for the legal right of “innocent until proven guilty” guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution without incarceration of an individual prior to determination of guilt or innocence.  On the other side of the coin, the courts whose job it is to enforce and administer the law need some guarantee that the accused will be present in court to face charges and provide a defense.

Hence the bail schedule is set to reflect that balance between the risk of harm to society due to the nature of the crime and the individual’s legal rights. The bail process allows someone who has been arrested to remain free by paying a fee to the courts. If that person violates the terms of his bail, a bail agent will retrieve him and bring him back to police custody, hence the need for bounty hunting.  A bail bondsman can do their own bounty hunting or contract with an individual or company that is licensed to provide bounty hunting services.

Some states require that bounty hunters be licensed, while other states only require that bounty hunters register with them.  Some states such as Kentucky and Oregon prohibit bounty hunters entirely from making bail arrests.

In September 1999, California enacted law A 243 regulating bounty hunters, termed “bail fugitive recovery persons” in the statute. This law added section 1299 to the California Penal Code. The bail fugitive recovery person is defined as one who has written authorization by a bail agent or surety contracted to investigate, monitor, locate, and arrest a bail fugitive for surrender to appropriate authorities, or any person employed to assist in the arrest of such a fugitive.

CPC 1299 required special licensing and training to become a bounty hunter.  California bounty hunters needed a certification from the California Department of Insurance to operate. Certification was granted only to those who could demonstrate they know the state laws and can pass a background check.

Bail fugitive recovery agents must be 18 years old, have no felony convictions, complete a specified training courses, and notify local law enforcement of their intent to apprehend a bail fugitive no more than six hours before doing so.  California bounty-hunting training courses can be done on-line or at select, approved schools that focus on criminal justice. You must be 18 or older to apply. The first step is to take a 12-hour course that covers bail education licensing requirements. After this, you are required to apply for your bounty-hunting license and need to score 70 percent or higher on the test.

Unfortunately, CPC 1299 had a sunset clause and the California State Legislature allowed it to lapse. California no longer has control over the bounty hunters and the bail industry is in an uproar over this. The legitimate bail agencies want to see restrictions and rules governing bounty hunters. The industry in pleading with the state legislature to re-enact CPC 1299; for the protection of public safety and common sense.

 – About the Author:

Orange County Bail Bonds, located across the street from the Orange County jail facility, is a family owned and operated Orange County bail bond service and has been serving the bail bonds needs of Californians and across the United States since 1963.


How to Catch a Fugitive

Fugitive Hunting Strategies

The primary job of a bounty hunter is to locate and apprehend fugitives that have failed to appear for a court date after posting bail. Because of the dangers involved it is necessary for a fugitive recovery agent to know the proper strategies and tactics to complete their task in a safe manner. So how do you begin to hunt for a fugitive? The situations change and many times the proper method to track a person will have to change on a case by case basis, however these are some general guidelines to keep in mind when tracking a fugitive.

Gathering Intelligence:

First and foremost it is necessary to know your target. Learning the history of the fugitive is imperative to apprehend them in a safe manner. Some questions a fugitive recovery agent needs to ask are:

Is the fugitive a violent offender?

Are they known to carry firearms?

Do they have any previous military or martial arts history?

Do they have a drug history?

Do they have a history with mental illness?

These questions can tell a bounty hunter a substantial amount about the safety precautions they need to take once the target is located. Based on this information the bounty hunter can determine if it is better to attempt to apprehend the subject in a public location, at their residence, or if someone is able to turn them in.

It is also important to determine if the target is in a relationship, if they own a vehicle, have any known locations of residence, hobbies and their common hang out spots. If for example a fugitive is known to like drinking a bounty hunter could start by asking around local bars to gather additional information.

Finding Contacts:

Finding any contacts associated with the fugitive is another area of importance when attempting to locate an individual. First abounty hunter would want to contact the person who signed the bond as they are ultimately responsible for the appearance of the bailee. In many cases this will be a parent of relative who are concerned with the wellbeing of their loved one. In some instance they will work with the bounty hunter or bail bonds company to assist with the apprehension of the fugitive, however there are just as many instances of family and friends trying to throw off bounty hunters.

It is important to assess early on whether the family and friends of the fugitive are cooperative or whether they are trying to conceal the bail jumper. This will ultimately lead to the strategy that the bounty hunter will need to employ to successfully detain their target. In some instances it is essential to feed the fugitive’s contacts with misinformation in order to allow them to lead the subject into a trap.


The use of proper equipment can make the difference of saving lives when apprehending a fugitive. Non lethal weapons are preferred by most bounty hunters due to the backlash of an investigation from law enforcement officials in the event that the apprehension turns deadly. A dead fugitive as well will not return the bond cost for the bail bonds agency. A bail bondsman and bounty hunter are in the business of capturing targets and bringing them in alive to face justice.

Along with adequate non lethal weapons a bounty hunter must have the proper protective gear including bullet proof vests, gloves, and clothing that suits a foot chase. The vehicles used by a bounty hunter should also conceal their stakeout operations while not appearing inconspicuous in the area surrounding the stakeout location. Changing vehicles frequently as well as the actual agent conducting the stakeout operation can dramatically improve its overall effectiveness.

In some instances it is necessary to carry a firearm depending on the criminal history of the bail jumper. Many bounty hunters do carry firearms however there is an equal amount that rely primarily on non lethal weapons. Handcuffs are another item that allbounty hunters should carry. Once a target is detained they will ultimately need to be transported back to the police station so an effective transport vehicle should be considered as well to ensure the proper levels of security for this task.

The Stakeout:

Staking out a target’s location is one of the most tedious and unrewarding aspects of being a bounty hunter although this is imperative in locating a subject. Many man hours are spent remaining patient and determined waiting for a fugitive to slip up during their run from the law. Watching the families’ area or residence, local gas stations, bars, grocery stores, convenience stores, dry cleaners, restaurants and laundromats are areas that are commonly observed because they provide services which almost everyone is bound to use at some point in their day to day lives.

Staking out a location is much more effective in smaller communities as there are less locations to manage and a particular individual is easier to notice in a smaller community. Despite the effectiveness of this strategy it is one which is employed in practically every man hunt.

Detaining a Fugitive:

Once a fugitive is located a comprehensive plan must be devised to apprehend the subject in the safest manner possible. If the fugitive is a flight risk a trap will have to be employed to ensure they do not escape the fugitive recovery team tracking them. Failing to detain a fugitive on the first attempt will commonly spook them resulting in the target laying low and taking further precautions to remain in hiding. This results in additional man hours to re-locate and apprehend the target, and since a bail bonds company is typically on a timeline to bring their subject in this can waste valuable time to recover the cost of the bond.

The strategy and tactics used by a bounty hunter once the subject is located will ultimately determine the success of the overall operation. Making the first apprehension attempt count will typically separate the successful and unsuccessful bounty hunters. Ensuring the proper equipment is available is another area that must be assessed in a detailed fashion by the fugitive recovery team. Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight, or mace or even a taser for that reason.

Successful Manhunting

Strategy, tactics, foresight and the proper equipment are essential to tracking and apprehending a fugitive successfully. This is one of the most difficult aspects of working within the bail bonds industry. In many cases a bail bonds agency will have a team of bounty hunters separate from their bail bondsmen so that each team can focus on its area of expertise however it is just as common for a bail bondsman to take on the role of the fugitive recovery agent due to lack of resources.

However these jobs are divided an essential aspect of the industry is the knowledge and employment of proper strategy in a variety of situations. The training of a fugitive recovery agent must mirror that of law enforcement of military personnel in order to provide an effective operating team that can maintain longevity through situations of adverse conflict.

 – About the Author:

Bail Bonds Guys is a bail bondsman, bounty hunter, and bail bonds agency network dedicated to providing the most reliable information and news in the industry.


Thoughts on Fugitive Recovery Safety Issues

For bail agents and fugitive recovery agents, safety can take the form of reasoning, martial arts or use of weapons. Many of the defense mechanisms bail agents or fugitive recovery agents choose to use are largely based on personality, experience and intuition.  When individuals were polled in the industry regarding the preferred form of self-defense, 40% chose the power of persuasion, 40% chose to carry a weapon and 20% said they rely on street smarts. Still, even the most sensible agent or best negotiator can run into a road block or two.

When necessary, agents within the bail industry have been known to apply everything from reasoning to martial arts training to a provoked use of weaponry to keep themselves safeThe importance of writing quality bail bonds with strong collateral may help to reduce the likelihood of a skip and also the dangers that are associated with recovering a skip. Good communication with clients and especially co-signers allows bail agents to maintain a constant connection.

Bail agents and recovery agents develop their ability to reason and rationalize situations for their clients through experience and confidence gained over the years. Often times, however, a skip is unavoidable.  A keen eye trained to analyze each situation and exercising precaution will help keep a recovery agent and their team safe. No matter the level of experience an agent possesses, there are the occasional instances when even the most seasoned of veterans feels a little uncomfortable.  While feelings of uncertainty vary on case by case, it is crucial to always take precautions.

For many recovery agents, compiling information from credible sources and creating a broad and ever expanding network of individuals within the industry is a crucial step in the recovery process.  As well, completing research and surveillance on the skip and their location may help to eliminate hidden dangers when retrieving clients.   By double and triple checking all matters and establishing the safety procedures for recovering skips, you increase your recovery rate, plain and simple.  Establishing early diplomacy, acting thoroughly and sustaining a cautious mentality when apprehending individuals helps to ensure safety for the agent while on a job.

Despite the use of diplomacy and martial arts in fugitive apprehension, weapons are also prevalent in the bail industry.  When bail bond companies were polled on the necessity to carry a weapon, 75% said they feel the need to carry one, while 25% said they do not.  Both bail and recovery agents are known to carry weapons ranging from handcuffs to tasers to hand guns.

At any one moment an agent must be prepared to think rationally, reason through the situation at hand and provide enforcement while sustaining a safe environment for all parties involved.   Preparation, determination and maintaining a level head are crucial to a successful day in the field.  As it goes to show, when an agent is well versed in the many facets of defense tactics, safety is no longer a question but a discipline.


Some notes about Celebrity Bail Bonds

There are those people who are quick to voice their opinion that the wealthy, the famous and the privileged receive obvious preferential treatment, including being processed more efficiently through the system, when someone within their social circle is arrested. A mug shot and fingerprints are taken, a bond amount is settled on and once a call is made, off they go, out the door and on with their life. After all, there is no need for a call to be placed to a bail bonds agent when a friend, family member or manager can simply swipe a credit card or write a check for the full bail amount. But with fame comes the mug shot splashed across the newspaper, Internet and magazine covers, which is an experience the average person will never be able to comprehend, nor understand the emotional fallout that comes with that level of embarrassment.

Many individuals who are a part of the judicial system – defense attorneys, prosecutors, and even bail bonds agents who are sometimes discreetly called in to post a bond – have been quick to dispute the notion of special treatment being shown to the wealthy. These professionals have insinuated that there are instances where a harsher sentence or a stiffer fine has been imposed upon their client because this is an opportunity for the court to make an example of the defendant and stress the seriousness with which it views the crime that’s been committed by a person who lives in the public eye (a.k.a. a role model).

Here is a list of recent celebrity bail amounts and the crime they are accused of committing:

Lindsay Lohan – actress/singer – DUI / theft – $300,000 / $75,000
O.J. Simpson – football player/actor – robbery – $250,000
Randy Quaid – actor – fraud and burglary – $100,000
Ryan O’Neal – actor – assault – $50,000
Sean Avery -NY Rangers NHL – pushed a police officer – $20,000
Adrian Pasdar – actor – DUI / driving 94mph – $15,000
Jaime Pressly – actress – DUI – $15,000

Then there are those famous individuals who are held without bail until their trial.

Wesley Snipes – actor – failure to pay taxes – No Bail
Leif Garrett – singer- herion possession – No Bail

Some celebrities have had to rely on a bail bonds agent to post their bond because of financial issues; they may be famous but they are no longer wealthy. So the argument may rage on regarding whether or not the wealthy, the famous, the celebrity is treated better or worse when an arrest occurs, but one thing is certain: the average person may wait a little longer for a bail bonds agent to set them free, but unlike those who live their life in the public eyeFree Articles, they will not be forced to share their arrest (and mug shot) with the rest of the world.


What is a Bounty Hunter?

What is a bounty hunter?

A bounty hunter is a person that works with a bail bondsman to apprehend a subject that has failed to appear to a court date after having posted bail for a pending trial. When an individual posts bail they are not paying their way out of a conviction. Instead they are paying for their release from holding pending their trial. If the defendant is found to be guilty by the court they must still serve the time mandated by the judge from the trial. They are however awarded the privilege of freedom during the trial.

Because of the flight risk involved an individual must be responsible for the defendant’s actions when they post bail for a pending trial. The bondsman who signed the bond for the defendant’s release is the one who is ultimately responsible to ensure the individual shows up to their court appearances on the designated dates. In the event that an individual who is out on bail does not appear in court they are issued a failure to appear (FTA) warrant at which time they are considered a fugitive.

When this occurs the bondsman responsible for the fugitive contracts a bounty hunter or in many cases acts as the bounty hunter themselves to apprehend the fugitive. A bounty hunter’s proper business title is Fugitive Recovery Agent and they are required to hold the proper certifications for this occupation in order to operate in their local or federal jurisdiction. In many cases a bondsman will act as their own bounty hunter but there are some instances as well where these positions are held by different individuals in a company.