A Bail Bondsman And A Bounty Hunter’s Professional Relationship

July 14, 2017


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man in handcuffsAnyone who has ever watched a “Spaghetti Western” film understands that almost every movie’s story circles on famous bounty hunters tracking down outlaws in non-centralized communities. The two words “bounty hunter” has become synonymous with the glamor of modern Hollywood films stylizing them as heroes.

The truth is, these heroes exist, but they do not use magical abilities or special gadgets to track their targets. Bounty hunters work alongside bail bondsmen and agencies in tracking down “skips,” a term used for individuals who “skipped their hearing.”

Understanding the bail bondsman and the bounty hunter’s responsibilities would help you understand how their occupations coincide.

The Bail Bondsman’s Responsibilities

In Illinois and other states, any commercial bail bondsman and agencies could not provide their services for suspects. Typically, after an arrest, bail bond companies would inquire with local precincts.

Precincts and jails would inform the bond agency about the judge-appointed bail on several suspects. The bail bondsman would approach these suspects and present them a bail bond in exchange for a 10% payment after the hearing and decision on their court case.

The bondsman automatically becomes a surety of the suspect, which means, if they abscond, the bondsman has to bear the full price of the bond.

The Bounty Hunter’s Responsibilities

As per law, any bail bondsman could only recover the full bail amount if they could present the suspect in court. This situation is when “things go out of hand.”

To resolve the issue and recover their bail, these businesses call their trusted bounty hunter to retrieve the accused who have skipped their hearing. The court would impose a time limit of one year before the bail amount expires and for each skipped hearing is a fee deducted from the bail amount. Bounty hunters are then to work on a time limit imposed by bail bondsmen.

Seal being applied to legal document

Differences With Police Officers

Police officers are only to act with strength if the suspect enacts a threat in their presence. Bounty hunters could respond with equal force in apprehending fugitives on the run.

Bounty hunters, while unregulated in most states of America, are licensed. Unlike police, once they make an arrest, they need not read the Miranda rights. They are even able to skip extradition hearings to deliver a fugitive to court across states

In some US states, bounty hunters are allowed passage to a fugitive’s possible residence. They are also permitted to enter properties covertly. They could even collect evidence illegally procured and use it in court cases against the suspect.

However, like police officers, they could only use their lethal weapons against suspects if the defendants use deadly weapons first.

Illinois Restrictions On Bail Bondsmen and Bounty Hunters

However, in Illinois, the law prohibits the operation of a bail bond company. It also prohibits the licensing and operation of Illinois bounty hunters.

Illinois’ law also bans out-of-state bounty hunters to operate and recover their fugitive in the state although they could ask the assistance of local police and authorities to track down their suspect.

Discreet And Effective

The partnership between a bail bondsman and a bounty hunter is efficient because of its discreetness and legality. Unlike their silver screen counterparts, bounty hunters do not openly question individuals with guns pointed; they conceal themselves similar to private investigators as they make inquiries to track their fugitives.

According to official US statistics, about 90% of suspects who had skipped their hearings found themselves recovered by bounty hunters, giving testament to the