What Are Bounty Hunters Legally Allowed to Do?

Crime movies always show bounty hunters and their no holds barred tactics to chase down fugitives for a fee. Bounty hunters are a valid concern for people who jump bail or just accidentally miss their hearing. However, they’re not nearly as scary as the film industry has made them out to be. Bounty Hunters operating in Texas must adhere to stringent guidelines for your safety and theirs.

What is a Bounty Hunter?

A bounty hunter is a skilled professional who is hired by a bail bondsman. They find and capture a fugitive in exchange for a monetary reward. The bounty hunter’s reward, which is commonly called the “bounty,” is normally a percentage of the bail. A bail bondsman may offer the bounty hunter between 10 and 20 percent of the bail amount. This means the bounty hunter can make $1,000 to $2,000 on a $10,000 bail. However, they only get paid if the fugitive is successfully captured and brought to justice.

Texas Bounty Hunter Regulations

The Texas Department of Public Safety regulates bounty hunters. In order to be one, you must be a licensed peace officer, a private investigator, or a commissioned security officer. Bounty hunters can work independently for clients and can investigate a number of different situations.

In Texas, a bail bondsman can also hire a bounty hunter to track down fugitives who skipped bail. Most states don’t have strict requirements to become a bounty hunter. Texas however enforces regulations that make the job safe for everyone involved. Only people that meet certain requirements can work as fugitive recovery agents. You must meet certain legal requirements set by the state. If you don’t, and work as a bounty hunter you will be brought up on a state felony charge. Texas bounty hunters are not law enforcement officers. They’re employees of private entities like security guard companies or private investigation companies. It’s illegal for anyone to impersonate a law enforcement officer, this includes bounty hunters.

Legal Rights

If someone out on bail doesn’t follow court-ordered guidelines or jumps bail, a bounty hunter can chase them down for a reward. In Texas, bounty hunters can only enter a home with the owner’s consent. Bounty hunters can carry handcuffs and guns. However, they must always state that they’re bounty hunters who work for a specific bail bond agency or legal entity. Bounty hunters aren’t permitted to wear any badges or uniforms that imply they are state or federal agents.

If the bounty hunter is successful at turning the fugitive over to the authorities, they receive a previously agreed upon percentage of the bail. If they fail to bring in the culprit then they get nothing. 

A-EZ Out Bail Bonds

If you violate your contract with a bail bondsman, you may find yourself in serious trouble. From a lawsuit to possible re-arrest, failing to pay your bondsman or attend court guarantees unpleasant consequences. Most reliable bondsmen are understanding and willing to work out a payment plan specifically tailored to your financial situation. At A-EZ Out Bail Bonds, we offer the most affordable bond options in DFW. Give us a call at (214) 749-5600 or visit our website to get in touch with our trusted bail bond agents.

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