The Difference Between a Bail Bondsman and Bounty Hunter

When conducting a standard Internet search for information about the training you need to become a bounty hunter it is common for the search results to feature information about bail bonds schools as well.  This fact may be confusing to some people because the two professions are quite different, despite the fact that bondsmen and bounty hunters work very closely together towards the same end. Here we will take a look at the roles of bail bondsmen and bounty hunters, and why they are sometimes confused.

Generally speaking a bail bondsman is a person who makes a loan to an accused criminal, usually while they are in jail, in order to help that person post bond and obtain their freedom.  The bail bondsman is often regulated by a state’s insurance board, and as such carries a property and casualty insurance license in order to do business.  Bail bondsmen stand to lose a significant sum of money every time a defendant fails to show for their schedule court hearing.  Because accused criminals all-too-often fail to show, bail bondsmen often employ the services of bounty hunters in order to help mitigate their financial losses.

Trained bounty hunters work with bail bondsman in order to track, locate, apprehend, and return fugitive criminals to the criminal justice system.  They are paid by bail bondsmen for performing such services.  Hence, bounty hunters play an integral role in the nation’s criminal justice system.  In their function of assisting bail bondsman, bounty hunters help to ensure that the bail bonds system continues to function.  Without them many places could see a devastating decrease in the number of bail bond companies in operation.  Bounty hunters also help the communities they work in by bringing fugitives back into the criminal justice system to face their charges.

In many states a bail bondsman can also act as a bounty hunter. So while the two roles are distinct in their duties, there are instances in which one individual performs both job functions.