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TX DPS C20189
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Texas Bounty Hunters

A Texas bounty hunter is required to be a peace officer, Level III (armed) security officer, or a private investigator.

A bounty hunter captures fugitives for a monetary reward (bounty). Other names, mainly used in the United States, include bail enforcement agent and fugitive recovery agent.

The fictitious Personal Protection Officer aka "Body Guard" leads an exciting and dramatic life, jumping in front of bullets and being blown away from a bomb with explosive force. They also solve the crimes in movie plots and their life is portrayed as a never-ending, exciting, adrenaline pumping adventure. In reality, Personal Protection Officers live a very subdued, mundane life. However, in a time of need, they are ready for action without hesitation.

Bounty hunters, officially referred to as bail enforcement agents or fugitive recovery agents, capture fugitives in return for a monetary reward which is known as the "bounty". These unofficial law enforcement agents track down defendants who have failed to appear in court. Their primary responsibility involves executing warrants on people who have skipped or forfeited bail. Bounty hunters work independently, and are often hired by bail bond companies in the case of disappearance of any of their clients..

The profession of bounty hunting is legal only in the Republic of the Philippines, and the United States. In other countries, standard law enforcement agencies are employed to track down and return suspects.

Bounty hunters play the role of police authorities when it comes to capturing bail jumpers and ensuring their appearance in court. They are an important part of the bail bonds system, and in turn, of the justice system of a country.

Bounty hunting, as a profession, involves a number of responsibilities. Bounty hunters have to conduct investigations, perform surveillance, make arrests, and transport prisoners to the proper authorities. The job also requires one to research the state laws and regulations, and work in accordance with those.

Laws in the U.S.

In the United States legal system, the 1873 U.S. Supreme Court case Taylor v. Taintor, 16 Wall (83 U.S. 366, 21 L.Ed. 287), is cited as having established that the person into whose custody an accused is remanded as part of the accuser's bail has sweeping rights to that person (although this may have been accurate at the time the decision was reached, the portion cited was obiter dictum and has no binding precedential value). Most bounty hunters are employed by bail bondsmen: the bounty hunter is paid about 10% of the bail the fugitive initially paid. If the fugitive eludes bail, the bondsman, not the bounty hunter, is responsible for the remainder of the fugitive's bail. This is a way of ensuring his clients arrive at trial. In the United States, bounty hunters claim to catch 31,500 bail jumpers per year, about 90% of people who jump bail.[1]


Bounty hunters are sometimes called "skiptracers", but this usage can be misleading. While bounty hunters are often skiptracers as well, skiptracing generally refers to the process of searching for an individual through less direct methods than active pursuit and apprehension, such as spies or debt collectors. It is a civil matter and does not always imply criminal conduct on the part of the individual being traced.

In the United States of America, bounty hunters have varying levels of authority in their duties with regard to their targets depending on which states they operate in. As opined in Taylor v. Taintor, and barring restrictions applicable state by state, a bounty hunter can enter the fugitive's private property without a warrant in order to execute a re-arrest. They cannot, however, enter the property of anyone other than the fugitive without a warrant or the owner's permission..

In some states, bounty hunters do not undergo any formal training, [2]and are generally unlicensed, only requiring sanction from a bail bondsman to operate. In other states, however, they are held to varying standards of training and license. State legal requirements are often imposed on out-of-state bounty hunters, meaning a suspect could temporarily escape rearrest by entering a state in which the bail agent has limited or no jurisdiction.


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Texas Bounty Hunter Information

Commonly Asked Questions

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