What are Bounty Hunters or Fugitive Recovery Agents?

When a bail bond company posts a bail bond for somebody who is in jail, or to quash a warrant for a person wanted by the law, that bail bond represents a promise to the court that the principal, or defendant, will appear at all scheduled hearings until the case is settled. If the defendant fails to appear, the judge may “Forfeit” the bail bond, at which time the bail bond company must either return the defendant to jail, post another bail bond to quash the warrant (if the judge gives that as an option), or pay the face amount of the bail bond. In some cases, the only option is to return the defendant back to jail. In that event, the bail bond company may hire a Bounty Hunter aka Fugitive Recovery Agent.

In most cases, bounty hunters are well trained in finding people that are trying not to be found. They typically are subscribers to on-line services that cater to the fugitive recovery industry, are well connected to law enforcement, and are privy to personal information about the person they are seeking. Their job is to locate the defendant and deliver him\her back to jail, and they are paid a fee for doing so. Those fees are then passed on to the cosigner on the bail bond.


Why are the cost of bail bonds strictly 10% in Minnesota, when bail agents were able to negotiate the price prior to January 1, 2016?

In Minnesota, all bail bond companies must be contracted with, and financially backed by, a surety company.  A surety company is an insurer that issues Powers Of Attorney to the bail bond companies that they contract with, and these Powers of Attorney must be attached to a bail bond when it is posted to secure the release of a defendant from jail.  That being said, effective January 1, 2016, the Minnesota Department of Commerce, which oversees the insurance and bail bond industries, issued a Consent Order.  This Consent Order laid out several rules that all surety and bail bond companies must follow.  One of these rules was that the surety companies must file the percentage (rate) that the bail bond companies they are associated with are going to charge for a bail bond.  These rates had to be approved by the Department of Commerce, and the only rate that was approved was ten percent (10%).

What is a bail bond?

A bail bond, technically called a “surety bond”, is a contractual undertaking guaranteed by a state licensed bail bailbondsman who is backed by an insurance company. The bail agent guarantees to the court payment of the full amount of the bond if the defendant fails to appear for their scheduled court appearances.

How do I get out of jail? How does bail work?

Generally, a bail bond company will be contacted by phone to begin the bail procedure. During the initial phone consultation, we will ask for information about your situation in order to determine the risk involved in the bond and begin the approval process.

Once the bail bond is approved, the customer will need to sign basic bail bond documents including an application, Indemnity Agreement, and other related documents. After the paperwork is finalized and payment has been made, a licensed bondsman will “post” the bail bond at the jail.

Should I hire an attorney?

The process of being arrested and put on trial for a crime is a process that will affect your life in many ways. You will be exposed to new situations and difficult vocabulary and will be glad to have a criminal defense attorney by your side from the start. Knowing what is coming in the process will be helpful as you experience all that is involved.

Can a bond be used for fines or court costs?

No! A bail bond only guarantees that the defendant makes all court appearances. Fines, restitution, court costs, etc are the responsibility of the defendant- our bond CANNOT be taken to satisfy these costs because the bail bond only guarantees court appearances.

What if the defendant accidentally misses court or is unable to appear in court?

This should be avoided if possible. When a defendant fails to appear for a scheduled court hearing, the judge will forfeit the bail bond and declare the entire bail amount due to the court. There are costs involved in petitioning the court to reinstate the bail bond that may be passed on to the defendant and cosigner. However, if a defendant does miss court, it’s imperative that the bail bond company be notified immediately and that the defendant and cosigner work with the bail bond company to resolve the situation right away.

What can you tell me about Alcohol Home Monitoring?

Alcohol Home Monitoring and other conditions can be set by a judge as part of a bail requirement or in place of a bail bond. The home monitor is a devise that is attached to a land-line telephone and is used to monitor alcohol in the defendants system. The defendant will have to breath into the devise several times a day as required by the court. Typically, the defendant will have this requirement for several months, must breath into the device seven days a week, and there is a daily cost. If allowed by the court, a bail bond can be placed and the condition of the Alcohol Home Monitor is waved.

What happens if I am arrested and released from jail without being charged with a crime?

If this happens it is possible that the court will require a bail bond at your first appearance. If this is a concern of yours, or if your attorney has informed you that this will happen, we can meet with you prior to your court date and arrange a bail bond.

How do I clear a warrant?

If you or a loved one learn that there is an arrest warrant, we can help. In addition to offering free warrant checks, we can place a bail bond to clear the warrant and have a new court date scheduled. In most cases, we can do this without the defendant going to jail.