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To become a bail recovery agent in Georgia, candidates must perform the following steps:
|Determine Georgia Eligibility|
|Complete Training and Education in Georgia|
|Apply for a Gun Permit in Georgia|
|Obtain Employment in Georgia|
Although Georgia does provide broad powers to bounty hunters, unlike most other states, Georgia does not license them through a state agency. Instead, bail recovery agents—as they are designated in state law—are licensed by the sheriff of the county in which they are employed. The bail company that employs the bounty hunter is responsible for registering them with the local sheriff’s office.
The state of Georgia grants bounty hunters considerable leeway in the pursuit and apprehension of wanted fugitives, but it does require that all bail companies be responsible for the actions of employee bail recovery agents. The responsibility that Georgia bail companies must shoulder can be extremely risky.
All bail recovery agents are required to complete firearms training and possess a permit for a gun. While the vast majority of fugitive apprehensions are non-violent, the few incidents where violence is evident can produce huge liability for bail companies. To limit their liability, bail companies in the state are highly selective about hiring, and most newly licensed bounty hunters must serve under veteran agents for a period of time.
Step 1: Determine Eligibility in Georgia
While the state of Georgia does not license bail recovery agents, it does require that they meet certain requirements:
- Must complete a firearms training course and obtain a gun permit
- Must be at least 21 years of age
- Cannot have any felony convictions or outstanding arrest warrants
- Cannot be convicted of manufacture, sale, or possession of controlled substances
- Cannot be hospitalized in a mental hospital, alcohol or drug treatment center in the past five years
- Must complete an eight hour fugitive recovery course
- Must be employed by a bail company
- Must be registered with the local county sheriff
Step 2: Complete Training and Education in Georgia
While the profession of a bounty hunter can be quite lucrative, the rigors of this demanding job often encourage professionals to use the skills and knowledge acquired to transition to other occupations like law enforcement officer, private detective or security officer.
In order to more easily facilitate career transitions as well as find success as a bounty hunter, many professionals in this occupation obtain a college degree. The most common college degrees are associate’s or bachelor’s degrees in:
- Criminal justice
- Police studies
In addition to the broad academic education found through attending a college, Georgia bail recovery agents are also required to apply for a gun permit. If there is no prior familiarity with handgun use, candidates may attend training courses through a variety of schools or gun academies.
All bail recovery agents are also required to complete an eight hour, one day course on bail bonding and bail recovery. This course may be found through private bail bonding schools, and is typically about $125 in cost. Bail recovery agents must repeat this course annually to remain in good standing.
Step 3: Apply for a Gun Permit in Georgia
In order to apply for a gun permit, bounty hunters must perform the following steps:
- Submit a gun permit application to the local probate court
- Provide fingerprints and fingerprint fee, which varies from county to county
- Provide the licensing fee, which is dependent upon the county
- Provide a form of identification
This license should be issued within 30 days and is in force for five years.
Step 4: Find Employment in Georgia
While it is possible to open a bail company and serve as a bail recovery agent, it is extremely difficult to manage the financial operations as well as the fugitive recovery aspects. Most bounty hunters serve as employees of established bail companies and receive about ten percent of the recovered bail amounts.
Some of the most prominent bail companies in Georgia include:
- A 2nd Chance Bail Bonds
- Athens Bonding Company
- AAA Freedom Bail Bonding Company
- Free at Last Bail Bonds
To join a Georgia bounty hunter association, please visit Georgia Association of Professional Bondsmen, Inc.