In spite of the lack of legal requirements, the steps needed to become a successful bounty hunter in Maine are as follows:
|Acquire a License or Certificate in Another State|
|Gain the Knowledge Required for Being a Successful Bounty Hunter in Maine|
|Obtain Needed Equipment|
|Get Authorization from a Licensed Bail Bonds Agency in Maine|
According to the Institute for Economics and Peace, Maine is also both the safest and most peaceful U.S. state based on factors like homicides, violent crimes and prison population. Maine has the nation’s lowest rate of incarceration and the cost of crime here is only $656 per person, compared to states like Louisiana, which spends $2,458 per person. Nonetheless, crimes do occur in Maine and defendants are released on bail.
A surety bond (bail bond) is a contract between a defendant and a bail bonds agent who puts up the bail money as a guarantee that the defendant will appear in court at the scheduled time. If the defendant fails to appear the bail bonds agent is liable for the full bail amount. Bail bondsmen authorize bounty hunters to track down and arrest the bail jumpers, thereby saving the bond agent from having to pay. In return, the bounty hunter usually receives 10 percent of the full bail amount. It’s a good system for all involved parties except the bail jumper!
There are no licensing or special training requirements for becoming a bounty hunter in Maine. However, even though bounty hunters do not need a license, bail bonds companies must be licensed and bounty hunters need to affiliate themselves with a licensed agency in order to procure authorization to make an arrest. If a fugitive flees to another state that requires bounty hunters to be licensed, an unlicensed bounty hunter may not be legally allowed to make an arrest and could find him/herself the one in jail.
Step 1. Acquire a License or Certificate in Another State
Even if a bounty hunter intends to work exclusively in Maine, it is wise to become acquainted with the laws in nearby states concerning bounty hunters who cross into those states in pursuit of fleeing fugitives and get the needed license or certification.
Step 2. Gain the Knowledge Required for Being a Bounty Hunter in Maine
A successful bounty hunter must have knowledge of:
- Relevant state and federal laws
- Investigative methods
- Legal issues surrounding arrests
- Methods for locating/tracking missing persons
- Behavioral psychology
- Surveillance techniques
- Skip tracing techniques
- Self-defense tactics
The best way to gain the needed knowledge is to earn an associates or a bachelors degree in criminal justice. Maine has approximately 10 on-campus colleges/universities that offer programs in criminal justice. Students in Maine can also opt to earn a degree from one of several accredited online schools.
In addition, bounty hunters must be able to develop and maintain cordial working relationships with other bounty hunters, surety companies and local law enforcement personnel. He/she also needs to have enough physical strength to subdue a fugitive and be mental and financial stability.
Step 3. Obtain Needed Equipment
Working as an independent bounty hunter requires an initial investment for such essential equipment as:
- Laptop computer
- Skip tracing programs
- Pepper Spray
- Bulletproof Vest
- Reliable car
Step 4. Get Authorization from a Licensed Bail Bond Agency in Maine
Maine law requires bounty hunters to obtain authorization from a licensed bail bonds company to arrest a fugitive on their behalf. The independent agents most likely to get such authorization are those with prior experience, such as former police officers, or those with the education and knowledge needed to do the job right.