Bounty Hunter Statutes in States Represented By Members of the Constitution Subcommittee
g744Member (State) g744Bounty Hunter Laws and Regulations
Source: Jonathan Drimmer (unless otherwise noted).
g744Pending State Legislation
Source: Nat. Assoc. of Bail Ins. Cos.
Canady (FL)In Florida, all bail runners must be licensed, and work only for one bond agent (i.e., eliminating free lance bounty hunters), be over 18, a resident of the state, have no criminal record, and pass a certification course, Fla. Stat. §648.37. For fugitives from other states who enter Florida, only persons licensed in Florida or the state where the bail bond was written can make an arrest. Fla. Stat. §648.30.
Hyde (IL)Illinois enacted a statute in 1963 that was designed to eliminate commercial bail bond industry. g744See Schilb v. g744Kuebel, 264 N.E.2d 377, 380 (Ill. 1970), g744aff'd 404 U.S. 357 (1971); Ill. Stat. Ch. 725 §5/110-7, 5/110-8. In addition, a state statute prohibits out-of-state bounty hunters from entering Illinois and forcibly removing unwilling fugitives. The statute provides, “No bail bondsman from any state may seize or transport unwillingly any person found in this State who is allegedly in violation of a bail bond posted in some other state.” Ill. Stat. Ch. 725 §5/103-9.
Hutchinson (AR)Under H.B. 1163, enacted April 15, 1999, only licensed bond agents, private investigators, or law enforcement officers, or people who have 2 years of actual work as a licensed investigator, bond agent, or law enforcement officer can seek and arrest fugitives. Such person must be at least 21 years of age, have no felony record, and must notify the local police of his presence and provide them with the defendant's name, the charges filed against him, and his suspected location.
Bachus (AL)See generally Code of Ala. 15-13-62. Bondsmen can authorize another to apprehend the fugitive by endorsing a certified copy of the undertaking (15-13-117). The bondsman or his agent can pursue the principal anywhere in the state, must possess a certified copy of the bond, must clearly identify himself and his purpose, and can enter a dwelling for this purpose. The principal has to be surrendered to the sheriff of the county of jurisdiction (16-13-63). An out of state bondsman must have a certified copy of the undertaking when apprehending the principal (15-13-124). Source: NABIC.
Goodlatte (VA)A surety may at any time arrest his principal and surrender him to the court in question. (Code of Va. 19.2-149). Source: NABIC.H 582. Regulates bail fugitive recovery.
Barr (GA)Bounty hunter must be at least 25 years old, must be a United States citizen, must obtain a gun permit, and must notify the local police of the intended arrest. Bondsmen must register with the sheriff of the county in which the bondsman is a resident all bail recovery agents that he employs. A bounty hunter must carry identification cards issued by bondsman, which describe the bounty hunter's physical appearance, and contains the bondsman's signature. Bounty hunter cannot wear clothing or carry badges suggesting that he is a public employee. An out-of-state recovery agent seeking to arrest a fugitive in Georgia must be able to prove that he is licensed in his home state, or hire a Georgia bounty hunter if there is no licensing law in his home state. Ga. Code §17-6-56 through 17-6-58.H 216 would amend OCGA Title 43, to regulate bail recovery agents.
H 1481 clarifies the definition and registration of bail recovery agents and provides for qualifications and fees.
H 1496 relates to bail recovery agents, notification requirements, ID cards.
Jenkins (TN)A bounty hunter cannot have criminal record, must notify local police of the defendant's location, and present to the police a copy of the warrant, a copy of the bond, and evidence that bounty hunter has been hired by bond agent. Tenn. Code Ann. §40-11-3.
Graham (SC)All bail runners are required to be licensed (S.C. Stat 38-53-80), can have no criminal record for the past ten years, must be a resident of the state, be over 18 (S.C. Stat. 38-53-90), must take a 20 hour class and pass an examination (S.C. Stat. 38-53-80) and can only work for one bond agent who will supervise and be responsible for their conduct (S.C. Stat. 38-53-120). All bond agents must supply a list of their runners to the clerk of court in the county where the agents operate. (S.C. Stat. 38-53-120).
Watt (NC)All bail runners must be licensed. N.C. Gen. Stat. §58-71-40. A runner must be over 18, have no felony convictions, be a resident of the state, and have necessary training and experience., N.C. Gen. Stat. 58-71-50. The runner must take 20 hours of education for a license. N.C. Gen. Stat. §58-71-71. The runner also must take an examination. N.C. Gen. Stat. §58-71-70. Runners only can work for one bonding company (same as Florida). N.C. Gen. Stat. §58-71-65 (1996). Bondsmen and runners cannot forcibly enter the homes of third parties. g744State v. g744Mathis, 509 S.E.2d 155 (N.C. 1998).
Nadler (NY)At any time a surety may take a principal into custody at any place in the state and by written authority on a certified copy of the bail bond may empower any person over 20 to do so. (Crim. Proc. Title P Div, 3, art. 530.80 & 540). Source: NABIC.A 1432 and S 4719 Provide for licensing of bail enforcement.
Conyers (MI)The surety may arrest the principal and is entitled to the assistance of law enforcement (MCL 765.26). Source: NABIC.
Waters (CA)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 6 hours before doing so. They must have written authorization from the bond agent when making an arrest, and cannot forcibly enter any premises, except pursuant to certain existing provisions of law governing arrest by a private person. Bounty hunters cannot represent themselves as law officers, or wear badges or uniforms that a reasonable person might mistake for a government agency. All bounty hunters must carry with them a certification of completion of required courses and training programs. Out of state bounty hunters must be licensed in their home states, or be licensed bond agents. Private detectives need not obtain a separate bounty hunter license to operate in the state. This law will remain in effect only until January 1, 2005. Cal. Penal Code §1299. In addition, bounty hunter or bond agent who captures defendant in California must go through official extradition procedures to transport him interstate. Cal. Penal Code §847.5 (1995 West); Ouzts v. Maryland Nat'l Ins. Co., 505 F.2d 547 (9th Cir.1974). After an arrest of a defendant on bail, the surety must deliver him to the court or police within 48 hours of the arrest if it occurs within California; if the arrest occurs out of state, the surety must deliver the defendant within 48 hours of their entering California. Cal. Penal Code §1301.
Frank (MA)The surety to whose exclusive custody the principal is released has legal control over the principle to ensure his appearance. (MGL Ch. 276, Sec. 58, Sec. 68, & Sec. 69) The surety can forcibly enter the dwelling of the principal to apprehend him (Ch. 276, Sec. 68). Source: NABIC.H 1481 would require that bail recovery agents must register with Department of Public Safety prior to a recovery.