New Regulations for Fugitive Recovery Agents in California

In the state of California, bounty hunters – or fugitive recovery agents, as they often prefer to be called – are a growing faction. California has one of the highest numbers of bounty hunters per capita, which is part of the reason that Governor Jerry Brown has seen fit to further regulate the state’s fugitive recovery agents.

Initially many agents in the state were of the assumption that the new regulations would be too restrictive but since they have been announced, the sentiment is that they are in place to help maintain order among the growing recovery agent community on this part of America’s left coast.

The new regulations, known as California Penal Code 1299 as part of the state’s Fugitive Recovery Persons Act, is largely a reinstatement of certain regulations that had expired in 2010 and were not renewed. It also tacks on some additional supplementary regulations.

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Vice President of Santa Clarita’s All American Bail Bonds, Inessa Chavez, stated that the Governor’s implementation of the law “brings back the original requirements prior to 2010 and adds additional requirements for notifying local law enforcement” when fugitive recovery agents are intent on apprehending a suspect. Chavez also stated that it should be noted that agents who fail to comply with the laws are subject to misdemeanor charges.

While the specific details of the new regulations are rather extensive, the general outline thereof is as follows:

Fugitive Recovery Agents in the state of California must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Complete 40 hours of certified power of arrest training via the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training.
  • Complete 20 hours’ worth of classroom training directly related to the responsibilities and duties associated with being a bail licensee.
  • Be free of any felony convictions on their personal arrest record unless that agent is licensed by the Department of Insurance.
  • Notify local law enforcement of the intent to apprehend a fugitive no more than 6 hours before apprehending.
  • Carry a certification stating they have completed the required training programs and courses.
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