What Does A Bail Enforcement Agent Do?

Posted on: 15 January 2015


Bail enforcement agents, popularly known as bounty hunters, have suffered from an inaccurate portrayal of their profession in movies and television. Almost everyone has heard of Dog the Bounty Hunter, or has seen the Steve McQueen movie The Bounty Hunter. Yet career professionals in the field frown on the term, preferring bail recovery or fugitive recovery agent instead. And they argue that the vast majority of agents operate within the law and with the greatest respect for the rights of the fugitives they pursue, and that a maverick few have given the profession a bad reputation.

Working as a bail enforcement agent is usually a mundane job that rarely involves violence or danger. Most agents don't even carry a weapon. In most states, prospective agents have to pass a test on insurance laws, and become licensed. Their job involves three different and distinct functions.

Locating a Bail Fugitive

Once a person has failed to appear in court and forfeited their bond, a bail enforcement agent is hired by the bail bond service (such as Yusef Odeh Bail Bonds) to find the fugitive and bring them in to appear in court. Often a bail jumper will be found at home, which of course makes the job easier. But if they've left the area, then the agent has to find them. The job becomes much the same as a skip tracer, or someone who locates people with outstanding debts. In the Internet age, there are many resources available to determine if a person has used a credit card, rented an apartment, applied for a new drivers license, and other actions that can alert an agent to their current whereabouts.

Apprehending the Fugitive

Once a fugitive has been located they have to be taken into custody. Bail enforcement agents generally enjoy a good working relationship with law enforcement agencies, and will usually alert local police that they're in the area to pick up a suspect. If they can show evidence that a fugitive is in a certain location, police will often assist in the apprehension.

Transporting the Fugitive Back To Court

Once a bail fugitive has been taken into custody, they have to be transported back to the court they failed to appear in. Bail enforcement agents will often work within just one state so that this can be accomplished in a personal vehicle. Many will outfit their vehicles with special modifications to ensure their own safety and the safety and comfort of the fugitive during transport.