Can a bail bond company arrest you?

One question we get asked a lot is, “Can a bail bond company arrest you?” And the simple answer to this question is yes. A bail bond company can most definitely arrest you.

But the how, who, and when does matter.

A bail bond company can’t just automatically arrest you for failing to appear at court. There are parameters that need to be met first, and keep in mind, these parameters can fluctuate depending on what state you’re in. 

Let’s cover the general basics on when and why it’s acceptable for a bail bond agency to arrest someone.

Can a bail bond company arrest you?

Obviously a bail bond agent is not a cop. They can’t just go around arresting people. However, when you turn to a bail bond agency to post bail, you’re — in a way — giving up some of your rights. That bail bond agreement you sign gives a bail bond agency the ability to hire a licensed bounty hunter to find you and take you to the proper authorities.

Related Content: What information does a bail bond company need?

Why would a bail bond company want to arrest you?

Let’s say your bail is set at $10,000. The bail bond agent will charge you a percentage of this bail amount (around 10%), and that percentage is non-refundable. The bail bond agent will then go pay that full $10k bail amount to the court. Once the whole court process is said and done, your bail bond company will get that 10 grand back from the court. 

However, if you do not show up to court and this was not done by mistake, it is very likely that the bail amount will not be refunded. In other words, your bail bond agent just lost all that money. For this reason, that bail bond company will want to find you and deliver you to the court, so they can get their money back. 

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What is allowed and not allowed?

In order to take a person back to court, a bail bond company will turn to a bounty hunter. Depending on where you live, what a bounty hunter is and is not allowed to do will vary. 

Here’s a general overview of what may or may not be allowed:

  • In many states, bounty hunters have to be licensed and possess the proper certifications and requirements.
  • In some states, a bounty hunter is allowed to enter private property under the following conditions:
    • They know the fugitive lives there.
    • They know the fugitive is currently in the property prior to entering.
    • There is an arrest warrant out for the individual.
    • If the property does not belong to the fugitive, they need to have the permission of the rightful owner to enter the property.
    • They have the proper paperwork with them and ready for inspection.

Keep in mind, if mistakes are made during the arresting process, the bounty hunter can and likely will be held liable for it. Potential mistakes could include arresting the wrong person, using excessive force, carrying firearms without a license, pretending to be law enforcement, or forcibly entering the wrong property.

In some states, bounty hunters must also notify law enforcement prior to attempting to arrest an individual. 

Have more questions about bail bond companies?

At Cowboy Bail Bonds, we’ve been helping the people of Kern County successfully understand and post bail for decades. To learn more about the bail bond process in Bakersfield and to answer more questions similar to, “Can a bail bond company arrest you?” check out some of our recent articles and resources.