After a person accused of a crime has posted bail, he or she can be set free until the trial date. They will be allowed to go home and continue their day to day activities provided that they return for their scheduled court appearances. In addition to that, they may also need to follow certain conditions, if they secured Colorado bail bonds.
A Colorado bondsman agrees to pay bail for them, and if they miss their court date, the bail bond company loses the money paid on their client’s behalf. When this happens, bounty hunters are brought in to find the person on the run.
In the United States alone, it is reported that bounty hunters catch over 30,000 bail jumpers each year. Depending on the state’s laws, a bounty hunter has varying levels of authority with their duties. Some need a warrant in order to enter a fugitive’s property and take them back to custody while others can without being charged with trespassing.
While bounty hunters can legally arrest people, there are strict laws regarding bounty hunting. These laws may also vary from state to state, and bounty hunters are expected to be aware of them when executing their work.
For instance, regardless of which state a bounty hunter is assigned in, certain limitations apply such as:
- Cannot arrest anyone other than the defendant who skipped bail
- Cannot carry firearms without permit or license from the state
- Cannot use excessive force to catch a fugitive
- Must abide by state laws when catching and detaining fugitives
- Could be charged with a false arrest lawsuit if they catch and detain the wrong person
Strict rules and regulations apply to bounty hunter operations. While some states consider bounty hunting illegal, this practice is largely unregulated. In states where they are allowed, bounty hunters are required to undergo formal training and obtain licensing.
In Colorado, for example, you will need to be employed by a Colorado bondsman before you can work as a bounty hunter. To quality, you should also be at least 18 years or older, a U.S. citizen or a resident alien with no history of felony convictions.
Bounty hunters in Colorado also need to undergo at least 16 hours of training to further enhance knowledge and skills. After all, bounty hunters should have the knowledge and deep understanding of Colorado’s laws relating to bail and arrest. It is important that bounty hunters have enough training as they can legally make an arrest just as police officers do. In fact, they may not need to call the police to the scene before making an arrest. If they catch a fugitive, they can legally handcuff or detain the person.
Is your loved one out on bail? Remind them and ensure they appear on their court schedule! Skipping bail or running away from the court can only complicate and jeopardize the case. Worse, they can become the target of highly-skilled bounty hunters who go after bail condition violators.