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Tennessee is one of the states that do not require licensing for its bounty hunters. It does have specific requirements to become a bounty hunter, however:
|Meet Basic Tennessee Requirements|
|Obtain Relevant Training in Tennessee|
|Contact Prospective Employers in Tennessee|
According to the state of Tennessee, bounty hunters are individuals who act as agents of professional bondsmen. They seek people who have failed to appear in court and have had their bond forfeited. In return for a fee, the bounty hunters take such people into custody and return them to the custody of the bail bondsmen they work for. In Tennessee, the term bounty hunter does not apply to bail bondsmen that take people into custody.
Step 1. Meet the Basic Tennessee Requirements
To become a bounty hunter in Tennessee you must have a record free of felony convictions. If you ignore this requirement, you would be committing a criminal offense that can be punished as a Class A misdemeanor.
You must have a criminal background check performed on you by the sheriff of the county that you live in. This must include fingerprint checks by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI). You will have to pay for the fees for these background checks.
Step 2. Obtain the Necessary Training in Tennessee
You would benefit from having experience when you start out as a bounty hunter. This can be obtained through an unpaid apprenticeship, or by obtaining a criminal justice degree online or through a campus based institution. An associate’s degree can be a steppingstone to finding employment, while having a bachelor’s degree frequently results in higher wages.
It is not uncommon for bounty hunters to enter law enforcement professions, and having a criminal justice degree would greatly help your efforts should you choose to pursue such a path.
All bounty hunters must take part in eight hours of education a year to work in Tennessee. According to state law, you must obtain this training from the Tennessee Association of Bail Agents.
Step 3. Contact Employers in Tennessee
Once you have the required training, you will be ready to start offering your services as a bounty hunter in Tennessee. There are number of bail bondspersons in the state that offer jobs for bounty hunters. Some of these include:
- AAA Bail Bonds
- Grumpy’s Bail Bonds
- Memphis Bonding Company, Inc.
- Tennessee Bonding Company
You will need to fulfill several legal requirements when you apprehend a fugitive. This involves fulfilling the requirements of Tennessee statute 40-11-401. First, you must make a good faith effort to verify the address of the person you will be taking into custody. Before you apprehend this person, you will have to furnish the following documents to the appropriate law enforcement officer of the area you are working in:
- Certified copy of the defendant’s underlying criminal process
- Certified copy of the bond
- Credentials from a professional bondsman showing that you are an agent
- A pocket card certifying that you have completed the required training
To continue working as a bounty hunter, you will have to obtain eight hours of continuing education each year from the Tennessee Association of Bail Agents. This training cannot cost more than $240 according to Tennessee state law.