The process of becoming a bounty hunter in Vermont follows these five steps:
|Fulfill Desired Educational Requirements in Vermont
|Obtain Authority from a Surety to Obtain a Bail Bond for a Skipped Fugitive in Vermont
|Go to Court to Obtain a Bond for a Skipped Fugitive in Vermont
|Now that you’re a Bounty Hunter in Vermont
Vermont does not require bounty hunters to hold any type of license. Bounty hunters, or those who have the power to arrest fugitives from law, must simply gain authorization to apprehend fugitives in Vermont. This entails obtaining written authority from the surety (the person or entity who provided bail for the fugitive in a judicial municipality). Without this written authorization, you may still act as a “skip tracer,” or a person who performs surveillance on a fugitive before going to a judge to obtain authorization for the actual apprehension.
Step 1. Fulfill Desired Educational Prerequisites for Bounty Hunters in Vermont
Although there are no licensing requirements for bounty hunters in Vermont, completing specific desired educational prerequisites can help you to obtain the authority to apprehend a fugitive more easily.
Prospective bounty hunters with the following educational degrees are looked upon most favorably in Vermont:
- Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice
- Associate of Arts in Business Administration – Criminal Justice Administration
- Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
- Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
Additionally, you should receive training in the proper use of firearms, as these may be needed while performing your duties as a bounty hunter in Vermont. Vermont’s firearm laws are few and relaxed, and you may openly carry and conceal a weapon in the state without a permit as long as you are over 16 years old. Exceptions are that you may not carry a firearm into court or schools, nor may you carry a loaded firearm on a public highway.
Step 2. Obtain Authority From a Surety in Vermont
After you have completed the desired education for bounty hunters in Vermont, you should gain some experience. Apply to work with one of the surety companies in Vermont that issue authority to obtain bail bonds for fugitives who are running from the law. You will likely be placed into situations in which you will conduct surveillance upon fugitives in gaining your experience. Once you have gained enough experience, request authority from the surety to obtain a bond for a Vermont fugitive. This authority must be presented to you in writing.
Step 3. Go to Court to Obtain a Bond for a Fugitive in Vermont
Once you are associated with a surety and have their written authority to do so, go to court in the county in Vermont in which the civil or criminal case originated to request a bond for the skipped fugitive. The Vermont Court System is a bit complicated for novices, but is structured like this:
- Vermont Supreme Court: Vermont’s highest court is located at 109 State Street in Montpelier. As the only appellate court in Vermont, the Vermont Supreme Court hears appeals in all cases statewide.
- County Courts: There are 14 counties in Vermont containing these courts:
- Superior Courts (Civil Division): These courts have jurisdiction over most civil cases.
- District Courts (Criminal Division): These courts hear all criminal cases in the state and some civil cases. Each of Vermont’s 14 counties has one District Court (except for Chittenden County, which has six District Courts)
- Family Courts (Family Division): These courts hear family law cases and do not hold jury trials. Family courts are found in each of Vermont’s 14 counties.
- Environmental Division: These trial courts have jurisdiction statewide over appeals from decisions on state land use permits, state environmental permits and decisions of the Agency of Natural Resources, and municipal land use planning and zoning decisions. The Environmental Division Court is located in Barre.
- Probate Courts (Probate Division): These courts hear matters of wills, probate, guardianship and adoptions.
The next step is to conduct surveillance and search for the skipped fugitive in question. You should call upon your education and experience up to this point and use both in investigating and searching for the fugitive. When found, you must bring that fugitive to the court or jurisdiction (usually a sheriff’s office) in the county in which the case is being held.
Step 4. Now That You’re a Bounty Hunter in Vermont
Congratulations! You have trained and worked hard to become a bounty hunter in Vermont! Although this profession is not licensed in Vermont, remember that it can be quite dangerous. You should stay up-to-date on Vermont and federal laws, as well as in your firearms training. Make sure to practice often and take firearms classes if necessary.