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When a defendant hires the bail bondsman’s service to post bail, the defendant is now obliged to adhere to specific bail bond agreements with the agency. The same with the Court’s bail conditions is the defendant’s responsibility to show up in court when necessary. Otherwise, the defendant may be tagged as a bail jumper or fugitive. 

This article will answer the questions, is a 24-hour bail bonds agent can re-arrest a client who is now a fugitive? What is the legal definition of a fugitive? And, what bounty hunters do?


The law defines a fugitive as someone charged with a crime and expected to attend judicial proceedings in one State but found in another State. In other words, the defendant flew and hid to avoid persecution. The fugitive isn’t just breaking the conditions of his or her bail but is also breaching his signed contract with the 24-hour bail bonds agency. If this happens, the bail bondsman has the right to pursue the defendant and return him to the authorities. 


The defendant’s signed contract includes the bail bondsman’s right to find and detain the client when he becomes a fugitive. The bail bondsman may have more leverage than the government employee since, unlike authorities, the bail bonds agent doesn’t have to secure a warrant from the Court. However, the bail bondsman needs to assure that the fugitive location is confirmed and won’t endanger other people around the area. 


The bail bondsman may also opt to hire bounty hunters or private recovery agents, especially if the fugitive is believed to be in a different State. Based on a report, bounty hunters caught over 300 bail skippers each year or about 90% of the total number of fugitives in the United States. 

Bounty hunters are people who are given authority by a bail bondsman to find a defendant who is hiding and avoiding imprisonment. They are paid in a percentage of the bail amount for every successful return of bail skipper to the authorities. That’s why bounty hunters are often motivated and effective in surrendering the defendant to the Court. 

The law about bounty hunters varies in each State

Generally, the law acknowledges the right of the bail bondsman to find and apprehend the fugitive. However, there is no one definite law for the bounty hunters, and the level of authorities of a bounty hunter differs in each State. Not all states in the U.S support hunting for bounty. Few states are still reluctant to regulate bounty hunters. Additionally, bounty hunters have no authority to go over other countries to find and re-arrest a bail skipper. 

Regulation for Bounty Hunters

The bounty hunting industry is usually underregulated and doesn’t have strict requirements for becoming a legal bounty hunter. Here are the general requirements to become a bounty hunter:

  • At least 18 years old
  • Haven’t been convicted of a felony crime
  • Can provide character references
  • Registered in a local law enforcement agency