A person who works as a fugitive recovery agent is also known as a bail recovery agent or a bounty hunter. These people work to return criminals to jail or prison. Typically employed by a bail bondsman, they locate fugitives or escaped criminals who have failed to appear for court dates. The training and requirements needed to become a fugitive recovery agent vary widely by geographic location. Each locale has different laws regarding what it takes to become a fugitive investigator and how fugitive recovery agents may behave.
The first step to become a fugitive recovery agent is to research what is required to work in the profession for your geographic region. Generally, a person wishing to become a fugitive recovery agent needs to have no prior felony convictions and be free of convictions related to weapons charges. Different areas have different fees and paperwork associated with doing business as a fugitive investigator, so you should seek the help of a local lawyer or police official.
If possible, attend a bail recovery agent school or training course geared toward the training of fugitive recovery agents in your region. You may also consider apprenticing with or observing an already practicing bounty hunter. Some areas require a person wishing to become a fugitive recovery agent to gain employment with a bail bond company. It may also be beneficial to obtain a police- or government-verified fingerprinting and background check or criminal investigation. These services are provided free or for a small fee to the public.
Inquire with a practicing fugitive recovery agent about professional associations and licensing agencies in your area. In addition to a background check, training, and verifiable employment with a bail bondsman, your region may require registration with an organization in order to become a fugitive recovery agent. Some of these organizations charge fees on an annual or semi-annual basis. Be prepared to pay registration fees and any fees associated with the paperwork these groups may require.
It takes two years or less for most people to become fugitive recovery agents. During this time, a prospective bail recovery agent will have completed the related educational requirements, either through an institution or an already practicing member of the trade. He also will have taken steps to ensure registration with any group the region may require and will have obtained employment as dictated by law. Once on the job, an agent can expect to earn up to 10 percent of the original bail bond of the person they are seeking.