Citizens interested in learning how to become a bounty hunter in Michigan can follow these steps:
|Ensure Appropriate Licensure in Michigan|
|Become Qualified in Michigan|
|Search for Employment Partnerships in Michigan|
In 2012, Michigan State courts dealt with over 57,000 criminal cases. Of that number a significant portion were released before their scheduled court dates on bail or bond. And of that portion about 20 percent of felony defendants on average fail to appear for their scheduled court date, at which point bounty hunters begin tracking them down.
Besides bail skippers, bounty hunters also pursue individuals with a bounty on their head- recently this has included a $10,000 reward for a serial bank robber in south-central Michigan.
Step 1. Ensuring the Appropriate Licensure in Michigan
Applicants should keep in mind that if their work involves professional investigations or collections they may be required to obtain a Professional Investigator or Collections license. Otherwise, under Michigan law bounty hunters are not required to be licensed and furthermore are entitled to assistance from any sheriff, police officer, or other peace officer when making an arrest of a bail runner, though involvement by other law enforcement officers is not required.
As long as they follow the proper laws, bounty hunters also do not need a license to pursue fugitives with bounties in their name.
Step 2. Becoming Qualified in Michigan
Many bounty hunters begin their work in the field thinking all that is required to go after bail jumpers is an agreement between a bounty hunter and a bond agency. Although this is factually accurate, bounty hunters also need to be well-informed about state regulations; even unknowingly violating the law is enough for arrest, jail time, and thousands of dollars in fines. And this is just the legal side of preparing- training for bounty hunter jobs in Michigan also requires physical coordination and know-how when it comes to apprehending fugitives.
Having some education in the criminal justice and law enforcement fields is also beneficial for bounty hunters. Certificate courses and associate’s degrees in criminal justice are good first steps for bounty hunters, and those planning a long-term career in law enforcement should consider bachelor degrees in law enforcement or criminal justice programs.
Step 3. Searching for Employment Partnerships in Michigan
As a fair portion of work in their field involves tracking bond jumpers, bounty hunters will need to develop partnerships with bail bond companies. A typical agreement may include some kind of compensation for traveling and apprehension expenses plus 10-20 percent of the bond money their target is worth. Law enforcement agencies also consult with bounty hunters when they encounter certain jurisdictional issues. Bounty hunting can be an exciting career in itself, and the best hunters will find a transition to a career in law enforcement can be almost seamless.