The steps to becoming a bail recovery agent in Louisiana are:
|Verify Eligibility for a License in Louisiana|
|Meet Education and Training Requirements in Louisiana|
|Purchase your “uniform”|
|Procure Authorization to Make an Arrest in Louisiana|
Louisiana law strictly regulates the activities of bounty hunters within the state. Officially called bail recovery agents, they must not only be licensed but must wear clothing that identifies them while they are performing their job. The law also states that bail recovery agents must notify local law enforcement before capturing a fugitive in a private residence. These laws are intended to avoid confusion about who the bail recovery agents are and what they are after.
A successful bail recovery agent must possess the following skills:
- Excellent knowledge of computer databases
- Good tracking skills
- Ability to develop and maintain good personal relationships with bail bonds agents, law enforcement personnel, attorneys, etc.
It is noted that Louisiana law allows bounty hunters to hire skip tracers or private detectives to help locate fugitives but non-licensed persons may not take part in actual captures.
Bail recovery agents in Louisiana earn 10 or more percent of the bail amount; however, they only get paid if the fugitive is captured and placed in jail. It is estimated that bail recovery agents in Louisiana earn an average of $25,000 to $50,000 a year.
Step 1. Verify Eligibility for a License in Louisiana
Bail recovery agent licenses in Louisiana are obtained through the Department of Insurance (1-800-259-5300). The following are requirements for being granted a bail recovery agent license in LA:
- Be a U.S. citizen over the age of 18
- Possess a valid driver’s license from Louisiana or another state
- Have no felony convictions
- Take an eight-hour pre-licensing course approved by the state
- Pass a written examination based on course information
- Complete a six-month apprenticeship with a licensed bail bond producer
- Be fingerprinted
- Undergo a background Investigation
Step 2. Meet Education and Training Requirements in Louisiana
A six-month apprenticeship with a licensed bail bond producer (bounty hunter) must be completed before being allowed to work independently. This allows new agents to “learn the ropes” firsthand from an experienced bounty hunter. All new agents must also take a state-approved pre-licensing course during their apprenticeship. This involves at least eight hours of instructions and a final examination that must be passed within one year.
Subjects covered in an approved bail bonds enforcement training course offered by the American Institute of Bail Bonding and Bail Enforcement are:
- Introduction to Bail Recovery
- Principles of Criminal Culpability
- Use of Force
- Criminal Codes
- Firearms and Weapons
- Seizure and Entry
- Prisoner Transport
In addition, all bail recovery agents in Louisiana must take 12 hours of continuing education (at least four hours in bail enforcement) every two years. The studies are to be completed by January 1 of every odd year.
Although not a requirement, an Associates or Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, public administration or sociology is highly recommended.
Step 3. Purchase your “Uniform”
Louisiana law requires bail recovery agents to wear clothing that clearly identifies who they are. This can simply be a T-shirt emblazoned with the words, “Bail Recovery Agent” or “Bounty Hunter.”
Step 4. Procure Authorization to Make an Arrest in Louisiana
Bail recovery agents in the Pelican state must procure authorization from a licensed bail bonds company before proceeding to track down a fugitive. This is true even if he/she already possesses authorization from a bail bonds agency in another state.
Bounty Hunting in New Orleans
New Orleans is the site of the SPIKE network reality TV series, “Big Easy Justice.” It stars legendary bounty hunter Tat-2 as he hunts down and captures fugitives in the Big Easy. Tat-2 has been a real-life bounty hunter for over 12 years and has captured more than 10,000 fugitives. The New Orleans native is the son of two police officers and was a Big Easy police officer himself until he left the force to focus on taking fugitives off the streets of post-Katrina New Orleans.