T Nation

Bail Enforcement/Bounty Hunting


I can't find much info regarding this other than role playing people and DOG the bounty hunter's TV show.

Can anyone point me to some credible information regarding this??

  • Do people actually make a living this way? What other enforcement type jobs do they combine with it to make it profitable? (Private investigations, Personal security, etc)

  • What procedure is necessary to become a legal bail enforcement agent.

  • Is this legal in all states? what are the guidelines regarding crossing state boundaries? Are you basically citizen arresting the character or is it under some other law?

  • Are the literature available through paladin press any good?

Any help will be appreciated,



Dude--you need to be concentrating on football.


jesus christ i cant look around a bit?



Actually I put my response in before I saw your football thread. I'm kinda interested in the responses you get to this, too.


In Minnesota, bounty hunters are private citizens using the citizen's arrest laws.

If you are actively attempting to arrest someone, you may chase them into a dwelling. Other than that, there are no extra powers (i.e. authority to execute a search warrant for the suspect, etc).

You can obtain a permit to carry a firearm and are allowed to carry O.C., a baton, a taser, etc.

I would imagine that they are subject to the same or similar training requirements that are set forth for security officers (legal authority, liability, etc), but I may be wrong.

I'm afraid I can't answer any of your other questions.


According to Hollywood, you first need to be a cop. Then, after either your wife is killed, or you are kicked off the force because the system was interferring with your ability to bring down the crooks, you prowl the badlands, looking for justice.

You work outside the law, helping those who can't be helped, all while riding a Harley and sporting a mullet. You are an outlaw. You are a Renegade......

Apart from that, I can't help too much.




Okay, except for Minnesota (I believe), the rules are basically like this:

You can cross boarders (town, city, county, state, not sure about country) in pursuit for someone.

You can bust down doors all you want.

You can shot without asking.

You can't be a cop or any other enforcement officer working for (city, county, state, country).

This is the rules in Arizona.

Yes, most bounty hunters unless you are DAWG then you have another job.

I might be wrong, but I doubt it!


I'm in california so I'm 90% sure its much harder than it is in arizona.

Though I do believe you can obtain permits in each state and thus use those when you cross statelines... plus if someone runs from cali to arizona it just gives you more imaginative ways to catch them...


The only rule in Arizona is there are no rules.


Doesn't pay that well. I had classes with a guy who worked as a bail bondsman and he made something in the area of 10 bucks an hour. He did get to openly carry a gun though... if that floats your boat. :slight_smile:


Think like Boba Fett, Sorry I got nothing, in all my years as a bodyguard and dealing with seady people I have never met a bounty hunter.
Must add it to my to do list:)


Chris, are you sure about this one? Most state's deadly force rules only authorize shooting at a fleeing suspect if you have probable cause to believe that someone will be killed if you don't stop them, along with the typical policy about shooting if you're in fear of death/great bodily harm.

I believe this is also the federal standard, though I could be wrong.


You need to do a search online, that's what I did a couple years ago when I looked into it. Many states don't require a liscense, but it helps to get a PI or other type of cert that allows you a weapon permit. There are also "schools" you can go to to get formal training.

The real money is in posting the actual bonds. That's why Dog and others that are on TV go after people, because it's THEIR money they are going after. They post the bond for the criminal and then ensure that they show up for court. So in essence, they are protecting their investment.


The few I know are also bail bondsmen. They trace down the skips themselves, saves them money and they are looking after their investment.

Have worked with one who trying to track down the parent of a kid I was supervising. Polite, professional normal looking guy. I think the ones you see on Discovery Channel shows, etc. are the more extreme end of the crowd, so it looks better on TV. Same gos for repo men, the ones I've met anyway.


I've heard some crazy stuff about repo men. Interesting job...But I don't know if I'd want it.


I can't FUCKING STAND Dog the Bounty hunter, or his fat ass wife. That show drives me crazy.


Its all about the mullet, man. Cut his mullet and he loses his powers.

I'm still trying to figure out how whitetrash got to Hawaii.


I have read a bit on the subject and it is in a "gray area". There is a famous court ruling where the bounty hunters derive their authority from:

"The bounty hunter was given broad authority starting in 1873 with the U.S. Supreme Court case, Taylor v. Taintor."

You can go to howstuffworks.com read a decent article on the subject.

There is a guy where I work who used to do it. He quit after getting stabbed for like the 5th or 6th time. Just to give you an idea, he is about 6'8" and 320lbs. He said the guys on any job that paid decent always fought and almost always required a trip to the ER for them and most of the time him as well (stitches, broken bones, concussions, etc).


Can't you change the channel?