Bail and Bail Enforcement Agents: What You Need to Know

If you ever get a call that informs you about the arrest of a loved one, you will probably have dozens of questions running through your head, the first of which likely centers on how to get them out of jail. 

Unless the crime your loved one committed forbids it, you can post bail so they can return home until their scheduled court date. However, your bail bond provider will likely tell you what happens if your loved one skips this appearance. They’ll tell you about what happens to the funds or collateral you put up to post bail.

Additionally, the bail bond provider will hire a third party — a bail enforcement agent, or bounty hunter — to recover your loved one and deliver them to the proper authorities. But what exactly is a bounty hunter and what do they do? And does their work influence your ability to post bail?

Read on to learn more about these professionals and how they impact your decision to assist your loved one.

The Who of Bail Enforcement Agents

As previously mentioned, a bounty hunter is someone a bail bond provider hires when someone has posted bail and then skips their mandatory court appearance. These professionals are skilled individuals who are licensed and registered to do their work.

To become certified, bail enforcement agents must be US citizens who are at least 21 years old, have a high school diploma (or equivalent, like a GED), and take a bail enforcement course. While in this course, individuals will complete almost 100 hours of classwork and training, and they’ll also become first aid and CPR certified.

Additionally, many enforcement agents pursue a higher degree in criminal justice, criminology, forensics, or criminal psychology — or they will start their career in the law enforcement sector. They will also go through an intensive screening process, which includes fingerprinting and a background check to ensure they’ve not been convicted of any felonies.

In Nevada, applicants must take the Nevada State Insurance Exam and undergo drug testing and a psychological evaluation conducted by state professionals. 

The What of Their Work

Once a bail enforcement agent has passed these requirements and is licensed, they can begin their work. Bounty hunters work for a contracted fee, which means they’re independent contractors and offer their services to multiple bail bonds agencies.

When a person skips bail, a judge issues a bench warrant, which lets law enforcement and bail recovery agents know that this individual needs to be recovered and taken into custody. 

Because a bond provider has technically paid for bail, they want to get that money back. They’ll hire bounty hunters to find the individual who skipped court and take them to the local jail where that person will await a new court date.

The bond provider will then pay the bounty hunter a portion of the bail bond amount, usually 10% to 20%. For example, if they posted a bail bond worth $15,000 dollars, then the enforcement agent would collect $1,500 once they recover someone who has skipped their bail hearing. 

In Nevada, bounty hunter also earn $50,000 to $80,000 as a recruitment fee. This fee encourages these professionals to keep up with their work and take on more cases to help reduce the number of disregarded court appearances.

Finally, bounty hunters work in tandem with law enforcement officials to secure a fugitive. For example, if they followed a suspect to a certain location and notice police officers heading to the same area, they must alert the officials of their presence and intent to secure that individual. 

The Impact This Has on You

You might not think knowing about a bail recovery agent will affect your ability to post bail for a loved one. And you’d be right. If you have the collateral available to get a bail bond, you can still post bail for your family member or friend. However, when you know what bounty hunters do, you can be more informed and carefully consider your decision to post your loved one’s bail.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t help out someone you care for — it simply means you should consider your decision carefully. By posting bail for your loved one, you’re assuming responsibility for them and essentially ensuring they’ll appear in court on their scheduled date. As long as your loved one actually goes to court on their assigned date, posting their bail and is a fantastic idea that will help them out a lot.

Don’t let this information about bounty hunters discourage you from acting in your loved one’s best interest. When you’re ready to post bail for your family member or friend, contact the team at All Star Bail Bonds at any of our locations in the Las Vegas Metropolitan area. We’re open 24/7 to provide locals with bail bonds when they need them most.