While becoming a bounty hunter in the state of Alabama is relatively simple on paper, it requires much effort and dedication in practice. However, in order to understand the definition and role of a bounty hunter, it is first important to know and understand the term bail bonding service.
A bail bonds agent - or bail bonds agency - is utilized when bail is posted for an individual who has recently been arrested and put in jail. In order to be released during the interim time between arrest date and hearing date, that person is required to pay the courts a large sum of money as collateral to stick around and attend the hearings. The money is returned if that individual makes his or her court dates. Often this sum is large to entice them to attend and have it returned. Sometimes it is so large, that is too difficult for the individual to pay. In this case, that individual will secure the help of a bail bondsman. The arrested individual will pay a small percentage of the bail to the bail bondsmen, who will in turn pay the lump sum of the bail amount to the courts. The agency will also receive the full return, while the arrested individual forfeits that right.
If the person arrested meets all his dates and the court repays the agency in full, there is no need for assistance from a bounty hunter. However, if that individual decides to leave town, cross state lines, or disappear for any reason, the bail bondsmen will most likely contract a bounty hunter to locate the individual and secure the money lost.
While a bail bondsmen is a businessman, dealing with the courts, arrested individuals, loans, etc., a bounty hunter leads a very physically demanding life. Bounty hunters are often retired law enforcement officers, or individuals who have trained in military training programs or police academies. They often have degrees in government or law related fields. They have extensive knowledge of the justice system in their own state and the surrounding states.
While in Alabama no special license is required, bounty hunters are sometimes registered bail bondsmen. They work closely with practicing bail bondsmen who assign them fugitives and provide them with proof of authorization to do so.
To become a bounty hunter in the state of Alabama, one must be eighteen, be a state resident, have no felony convictions, and “have not violated Alabama’s Rules of Criminal Procedures within in the two years preceding the application” [sic.] You must be registered to use a firearm or some other device to secure the fugitive and be in top physical condition. You must be aware of the justice system in Alabama as well as in the surrounding states. You will want to take the required state course on bail bonds. Finally, you will need to locate a bail bondsmen to work with.
Both bail bondsmen and bounty hunters are integral parts of the United States justice system. They provide help to both the individual and to the courts, promoting fairness and liberty. One cannot be fully understood without a proper knowledge of the other.
For more information on both bail bondsmen and bounty hunters (including definitions, roles, education, job and education requirements, etc.) in the state of Alabama, please refer to either www.bountyhunteredu.org/alabama or www.aldoi.gov.