While there are several ways to become a bounty hunter in Texas, all of them involve very specific training. You cannot just start up your own fugitive recovery company if you don’t meet the standards of the Texas Department of Public Safety.
One Corpus Christi man learned that the hard way when he showed up on a lady’s doorstep claiming to be a US Marshal and wearing a “Texas Peace Officer” badge. Eloy Silva claimed to have no idea that he was doing anything wrong, but he actually committed felonies with his acts.
Texas law clearly states that a PI working as a bounty hunter cannot display any badge or uniform claiming to be a law enforcement officer. Leilani Salazar claims that Silva and several other men showed up at her door at 11:30 PM claiming to be US Marshalls and demanding bail money that she owed.
While there is no video proof of his claiming to be a US Marshall, Silva showed off his badge to KRIS 6 News. He also brought his shirts that said “Fugitive Recovery” on them. Both of these items violated the law in Texas. It is a crime to claim to be a peace officer when you are not one, or to claim that you are a fugitive recovery agent if you are not employed by a licensed guard company.
Several people filed complaints about Silva’s activities with the Texas Department of Public Safety. Texas subsequently filed six felony arrest warrants for Silva for impersonating a public servant and engaging in unlawful contract with bail bond surety. Since Silva is on parole, he is likely to go to jail for his crimes.
To become a bounty hunter in Texas, you have to either be a peace officer, a licensed PI, or a commissioned security officer working for a licensed guard company. Silva doesn’t meet any of these standards.