Felons in Bail Enforcement and Bounty
- In general, the answer is no but
there are several exceptions and it really begins with where you
live. First, each state regulates the bail enforcement industry
differently- some require specific licensing, others require
that one completes various certification procedures while other
states do not require licensing at all; it is in those state
where there is no licensing or certification process where a
felon may try to pursue work in the bounty hunting business.
I’ll be honest with you though, no one that I know in this
business wants to work with a felon and will not knowingly hire
- Yes, I know… Dog Chapman is a
felon… but he is essentially working for his wife’s bail bond
company in a state that does not license or regulate recovery
agents working on behalf of a bail bondsman; Hawaii is one of
those states which does not require licensing or certification.
- Why then, doesn’t anyone want to
work with a felon?
- There is a term called
“respondeat superior” a key doctrine in the law of agency, which
provides that a principal (employer) is responsible for the
actions of his agent (employee) in the "course of employment"
and this includes the typical independent contractor
relationship which most recovery agents have with the client.
Thus, if a bounty hunter causes a
liability, the bonding company for which the hunter works will
be liable for the injuries as well. When it comes to light in
court that the bondsman hired a felon, a jury will crucify
everyone involved. It has happened on several occasions in the
past and I can cite specific cases which involved the use of
felons by bondsmen who were subsequently sued for everything
they owned- and then some. It really makes no difference what
the felony conviction was for specifically.
- Which states do not require
licensing or certification?
- The list of states not requiring
a background investigation for bounty hunters are changing every
year and that list is getting smaller all of the time. Do not
take this as legal advice, and I am not an attorney, but my
understanding is that of this posting the following states still
do not require licensing or certification are:
- Rhode Island
- Bail enforcement and bounty
hunting is altogether illegal, for everyone, in
- Nebraska (maybe… but no one
seems to know for sure)
- Be extra super secret about it
in Washington, DC or you will go to jail- they REALLY
don’t like bounty hunters or guns there at all.
- Don’t chase people into Mexico
without going through the “proper channels” and that does not
mean A&E. (That one cracks me up)
- Obviously the list above is
subject to change but felons can’t bounty hunt anywhere else
–legally. I seriously doubt that any state is going to repeal
their background requirements for bail recovery agents and this
list will only get smaller with time.