Bounty Hunting in Nevada
Nevada has perhaps the most extensive regulations and statutes pertaining to the bail bond industry and Bounty Hunters in the United States. Given that Nevada is known for its lenient legal policies this may come as somewhat of a surprise. However, with a great deal of bail bond activity in the state and many Fugitive Recovery Agents operating within its boundaries it is important that their behavior be regulated. Bounty Hunters, or “Bail Enforcement Agents” as they are known in Nevada, have the authority to make arrests and, with a plethora of bond agencies, there is a lot of opportunity to work as a Bounty Hunter in the state. Before entering a residence, they must notify local law enforcement but Fugitive Recovery Agents are allowed to forcibly enter private residences in order to arrest a fugitive.
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How to Become a Bounty Hunter in Nevada
Becoming a Bounty Hunter in Nevada is a somewhat lengthy process involving education, examination, psychological tests, and licensure. Bail Enforcement Agents are specifically defined as “a person who has contracted with or is employed by a surety or bail agent as a special agent to enforce the terms and conditions of a defendant's release from custody on bail in a criminal proceeding, to locate a defendant and to apprehend a defendant or surrender a defendant to custody, or both, if appropriate.” Essentially, this means that anyone skip tracing fugitives for a bail bond company is considered a Bail Enforcement Agent.
You must first be appointed by a bail agent or surety before they can act as a Fugitive Recovery Agent. This means finding a bail agent or bail bond company and proving your competency as a Bounty Hunter in order to receive a contract to skip trace fugitives. A good place to start is a quick search of bonding agencies in the area of the state in which you hope to work and contacting them to see if they have any available openings for Bail Enforcement Agents.
Once under the employ of a Bail Agent, Bounty Hunters have nine months to complete a course of at least 80 hours of training, available at places like the Bail Enforcement Academy on a number of topics ranging from law to field operations, ethics, principles of investigation, and other skills endemic to the occupation. This course can be pursued without the endorsement of an agency as well, and enrollment may be a good way to find employment with an agency. The course, it is important to note, is not necessary if there is proof that an individual has already completed “a course of training required by a municipal, state or federal law enforcement agency or a branch of the armed forces to carry out the duties of a peace officer.” Therefore, peace officers are exempt from Bounty Hunter training in the state.
Once training has been completed and employment found there is more work to do: acquiring a license.
Nevada Bounty Hunter Licenses and Requirements
In order to qualify for a Bounty Hunter’s license one must be a resident of Nevada, a US citizen or legally allowed to work in the US, have a high school diploma or GED, submit a report of an investigation of his or her criminal history, submit a report conducted by a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist from Nevada proving that he or she is of good mental health, and pass a test for controlled substances no earlier than 30 days prior to application.
A written application, available through the Division of Insurance, must be completed. It includes such information as the applicant’s social security number and answers to questions about identity and residence, business records and occupations for the past two years, and prior criminal history, if any. Along with the application must be a set of fingerprints, a letter from the law enforcement in the applicant’s county stating that they have not been convicted of a felony or an offense involving “moral turpitude” or a controlled substance, and $78 fee, which must be paid upon renewal every three years. Lastly, one must pass an examination regarding the skills it takes to be a Bounty Hunter presented by the commissioner of the Division of Insurance.
Although this may seem like a lot of effort, rest assured that you will be skilled and prepared to carry out safe, effective, and profitable skip tracing after becoming a licensed Bounty Hunter in Nevada. The requirements are there for a reason and only those with a clean history will be engaged in the profession in Nevada, ensuring that you only deal with professional and safe individuals in your daily activities.