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Review of the Powers of Bail Bond Agents and Bounty Hunters: Exploring Legalities and Illegalities of Quasi-Criminal Justice Officials

NCJ Number
Aggression and Violent Behavior Volume: 13 Issue: 2 Dated: March-April 2008 Pages: 124-130
Shannon M. Baker; Michael S. Vaughn; Volkan Topalli
Date Published
March 2008
7 pages
This article presents a legal analysis of all criminal State appellate court rulings that have established limits or modified powers of bail bond agents and bounty hunters.
Both bail bond agents and their subcontracted bounty hunters have been criticized for their roles in the criminal justice system, especially violence committed under the guise of quasi-criminal justice actors. The widespread power afforded to bond agencies and their bounty hunters through the 19th century U.S. Supreme Court case of Taylor v. Taintor in 1873 has been narrowed through State statutes, State constitutions, and State court rulings. State statutes prevent bounty hunters from forcibly entering third-party dwellings, charging expenses to their principles, and failing to forfeit the bond after their principal fails to appear in court. State statutes and State case law today prohibit behaviors that were once permitted by common law leading to a bail bond system that is slowly adhering to the rule of law. Future research is recommended focusing on bail bond agents and bounty hunters. The United States system of bail and bond is derived from English Common law. Bail bond agents supply funds so a person charged with a crime can be released from jail until their scheduled court appearance. Bail bond agents contract with bounty hunters to pursue and apprehend all those defendants who skip bail. This article addresses the legal environment surrounding bail bond agents and their subcontracted bounty hunters, as well as the extra-legal violence and constitutional rights violations committed by them. It analyzes court decisions dating back to the 19th century. References


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