When a defendant is released from jail on a bail bond, they pay a fee and sign a contract with the bail bond agency, agreeing (among other things) to appear in court. The agency posting the bail bond is essentially investing in their client, guaranteeing that the defendant will appear at all scheduled hearings until the case is settled. If the defendant fails to appear for a scheduled hearing, the bail bond is forfeited, and the bonding agency pays the entire amount of the bond. This is not an ideal situation for the bond agency.
If the defendant does fail to appear for a hearing and the bail bond is forfeited, the bail bond company will attempt to contact the defendant and/or cosigner in an effort to correct the situation amicably. This may include posting additional bail to clear the warrant and obtain a new court date, or the defendant may have to surrender to the county jail and appear in front of a judge.
In some cases, the defendant is not cooperative and may have fled the area or gone into hiding. In these cases, a fugitive recovery agent, or bounty hunter, is hired to locate and apprehend the defendant and return that person back to the jurisdiction of the court. In other words, capture the fugitive and take him/her to jail. Fugitive recovery agents typically charge a fee that represents a percentage of the original bail bond amount, and these fees are subject to a minimum. These minimums are normally $500 – $1,000 plus expenses. The cost of the fugitive recovery agent is passed on to the person who cosigned for the bail bond.
Bounty hunters have varying levels of authority, depending on each state. Typically, a bounty hunter may enter a fugitive’s private property without a warrant to seize the defendant and return them to custody. But, if the fugitive is staying in a private residence, bounty hunters may not enter without permission of the owner or obtaining a warrant. When crossing state lines, local laws must be followed when apprehending a fugitive
If you or a loved one or friend are in need of a bail bond, please do not hesitate to contact AAA Bail Bonds. Our bail bonding agents are available 24 hours a day and can assist you any time, day or night.