If you commit failure to appear in court, the consequences can be severe. In addition to potential fines and jail time, if you hired a bail bondsman to post bail for you, the bondsman can hire a bounty hunter to find you. Bounty hunters are not allowed in every state. But, here are the facts about bounty hunters that you need to know.
Failure to Appear
If you hire a bail bondsman to post your bail, you will enter into an agreement with them. Instead of providing collateral to the court, you will provide it to the bail bondsman. If you fail to appear in court, the bail bondsman has to pay your bond. As a result, the bail bondsman will keep the collateral that you gave if you fail to appear in court. They will also keep the premium that you paid to retain their services. In some states, if you hired a bail bondsman and you do not appear in court, the bail bondsman can hire a bounty hunter to locate you.
Bounty hunters, also known as recovery agents, skip trackers, and bail enforcement agents, are people hired to capture people who break the law. First of all, it is important to know that hiring a bounty hunter is illegal in many states. Even in the states where bounty hunting is legal, the bounty hunter must have a license in order to practice bounty hunting.
Bounty hunting is made possible because in some states, once a defendant is released on bail, they are considered to be in the custody of the person that paid the bond. This makes the bail bondsman responsible for your actions. So, they can therefore hire someone to find you if you disappear. In many cases, bounty hunters are employed by bail bondsmen who need to track down a client and get them to court, but sometimes a cosigner can hire a bounty hunter to find the defendant.
Bounty hunters have varying rights and obligations based on where they are licensed. In some states, bounty hunters can search a suspect’s private property without a warrant, while in other states this action and other similar ones are considered illegal. Bounty hunters are confined to their jurisdiction or the state in which they are licensed.
The states that have limited or restricted the use of bounty hunting are:
- North Carolina.
- South Carolina.
Some of these states also do not allow the practice of bail bondsmen.
Connecticut Bounty Hunters
One of the states with the strictest licensing requirements for bounty hunters is Connecticut. Connecticut requires bounty hunters to get a license from the Commissioner of Public Safety before they are allowed to practice in the state. Getting a bounty hunting license in Connecticut is a lengthy and difficult process. Applicants have to complete at least 20 hours of training in criminal justice. In addition, they have to undergo at least eight hours of firearm training. In Connecticut, only licensed bounty hunters are allowed to search for and return a defendant to the court.
Failing to appear in court and running the risk of involving a bounty hunter in your case is not in your best interest. Instead, it is much easier to comply with the court and appear for your court date. If you have further questions you should consider contacting an attorney.