bounty hunter

Person who catches fugitives for a monetary reward

A bounty hunter is a professional person who captures fugitives or criminals for a commission or bounty. The occupation, officially known as bail agency enforcer, bail enforcement agent, bail agent, recovery agent, bail recovery agent, or fugitive recovery agent, has traditionally operated outside the legal constraints that govern police officers and other agents of the state. This is because a bail agreement between a defendant and a bail bondsman is essentially a civil contract that is incumbent upon the bondsman to enforce. As a result, bounty hunters hired by a bail bondsman enjoy significant legal privileges, such as forcibly entering a defendant's home without probable cause or a search warrant; however, since they are not police officers, bounty hunters are legally exposed to liabilities that normally exempt agents of the state—as these immunities enable police to perform their designated functions effectively without fear—and everyday citizens approached by a bounty hunter are neither required to answer their questions nor allowed to be detained. Bounty hunters are typically independent contractors paid a commission of the total bail amount that is owed by the fugitive; they provide their own PLI and only get paid if they are able to find the "skip" and bring them in.