If you are interested in learning how to become a bounty hunter in New Jersey, consider these following steps:
|Meet New Jersey Initial Qualifications|
|Attend the New Jersey Bounty Hunter Training Course|
|Apply for New Jersey Licensure|
|Working in New Jersey|
Last year the defendants in a significant portion of New Jersey’s 51,000 criminal court cases were released on bail pending additional court appearances. And of those released on bail, only a fraction chose to run from the law, although that fraction was enough to support bounty hunter jobs across the state.
The New Jersey Superintendent of the Division of State Police is responsible for licensing all bounty hunters in the Garden State, who must be citizens of upstanding moral quality who are capable of tracking down and apprehending fugitives.
Step 1. Meeting New Jersey Initial Qualifications
The New Jersey Division of State Police has some of the toughest regulations surrounding bounty hunter license requirements. These requirements include the following:
- Previous experience working for at least five years in either of the following positions:
- Licensed private detective or employed by such as an investigator
- Law enforcement with no current ties to the law enforcement agency
- At least 25 years old
- No convictions for crimes involving unlawful sale, possession or use of a controlled dangerous substance
- No conviction of any crimes of the first, second, third, or fourth degrees
- U.S. citizen or permanent lawful resident
Step 2. New Jersey Bounty Hunter Training and Education
New Jersey bounty hunter school requirements state that you must complete a bounty hunter training course to become licensed. You have the option to apply for licensure before you complete the training course, although you must complete this within 90 days of receiving your license. Contact the Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police for information about the next class, which will include at least two hours in each of the following:
- Criminal justice system
- Limits on the use of force
- Professional conduct and ethics
- Constitutional law
- Arrest, search, and seizure
The few hours that you spend in the bounty hunter training course are no comparison to having a sturdy educational foundation through some form of bounty hunter school. Online academic universities and institutions across the state offer certificate and degree programs in subject areas that will prepare you for a successful bounty hunter career in New Jersey- as well as potential future law enforcement opportunities. Programs offered include:
- Criminal Justice
- Public Administration
- Law Enforcement
Step 3. Applying for Licensure with the Superintendent of the Division of New Jersey State Police
When you complete the bounty hunter application you will need to also submit:
- References from five reputable citizens who have known you at least three years and who can testify that you are of good moral behavior and character
- Proof that you have completed training for bounty hunter jobs in New Jersey
- $300 application fee
- Fingerprints and consent for a criminal background check
After making a successful application you will be issued a license and identification card. Keep in mind that you may not use any uniforms or badges that might be confused with law enforcement agencies operating in New Jersey.
Step 4. Working as a Bounty Hunter in New Jersey
Your license is valid for two years and you must apply for renewal at least 60 days before its expiration date. Along with a renewal form provided by the Superintendent of the State Police you will also need to submit:
- $200 renewal fee
- Fingerprints and consent to a criminal background investigation
As a bounty hunter in New Jersey it is your responsibility to keep up with the State Legislature on any developments of the laws in your field. Remember that violation of any bounty hunter provisions, knowingly or unknowingly, can result in thousands of dollars in fines, the revocation of your license, criminal proceedings, and jail time.
Networking with colleagues in your field through organizations such as the East Coast Gang Investigators Association and the New Jersey Bail Association can provide useful information, opportunities, and advantages for staying informed and expanding your employment opportunities.