- B.S. in Justice Studies and M.S. in Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement
- A.S. in Criminal Justice, B.S. in Criminal Justice - Criminology, and M.S. in Criminal Justice
If chasing down bail skippers and keeping your local community safe sounds appealing, then you will be interested in the following steps, which describe how to become a bounty hunter in Montana:
|Get Prepared to Work in Montana|
|Find Employment in Montana|
Bounty hunters working in big sky country provide a service to the citizens of Montana as well as bail bond agencies. Bringing criminals back to justice can be a dangerous job and bounty hunters, also known as fugitive recovery agents, need to be as prepared as possible. One of the country’s most famous bounty hunters, TV personality Duane “Dog” Chapman, was recently in the state offering resident bond enforcement agents some pointers on how to detain fugitives safely using non-lethal force.
Step 1. Getting Prepared to Work in Montana
Bounty hunters may initially be attracted to working in the Treasure State when they hear there are no Montana bounty hunter school and license requirements. However this lack of state regulation is made up for by self-regulation of the bail bond industry.
You should keep in mind that bail bondsmen are only going to want to hire the most qualified and professional bounty hunters on the market, as they can be held liable for their mistakes. Making yourself an attractive candidate should be your first order of business.
Certification courses and training for bounty hunter jobs in Montana are a good start. Showing a proficiency in any of the following will make you more appealing as a bounty hunter:
- Knowledge of Montana laws and statutes
- Suspect apprehension techniques
Having an associate or bachelor degree in any of the following is also a good move, especially if you are thinking about continuing on to a future career in law enforcement:
- Law Enforcement
- Criminal Justice
Step 2. Finding Employment in Montana
Once you are sufficiently prepared the next step will be to find a bail bondsman who will employ or contract you to track down absconded bailees. Most of a bounty hunter’s work comes from the relationship with a bail bond agent or agency, which loses a significant amount of revenue if their clients become fugitives and do not show up for their scheduled court appearances. Typically an arrangement for bounty hunter payment includes between 10-20 percent of the client’s original bail amount plus coverage for some or all of the expenses incurred while tracking down the fugitive target.
Bounty hunters may also consider pursuing rewards offered by law enforcement agencies. Currently the FBI is offering three separate $5,000 rewards for information regarding a hit-and-run, church vandalism, and a Bozeman crime.
Step 3. Staying Informed
Once working as a bounty hunter in Montana, one of the most important tasks you will face is staying informed about changes in Montana law in relation to the apprehension of suspects and the regulation of bounty hunters. Politics and national events can easily and quickly influence local legislatures and it is your responsibility to stay informed. Unintentionally violating the law is not considered a defense in court, and bounty hunters have been known to make mistakes that cost them thousands of dollars in fines and jail time.
To stay informed it is recommended that bounty hunters follow the latest developments with the Montana State Legislature for any developments in their field. For example, a recent senate bill that would have revised the current bail bond laws and created licensure requirements for bounty hunters in the state died in standing committee in April, 2013.