There are many things that we as recovery agents and bail bondsman can do. But being above the law has never been seen as one of them. I hear so many times from newer agents that we have more power than the police and I just sit back, grin and listen very carefully. It’s partially true that in some instances we may be able to do some things a policeman can’t do, but in all actuality it’s very small in comparison. I hear agents saying I don’t need a warrant to go in that house, well you could be right but you could be wrong. The question that you should ask yourself is “should I go in”. Should you push that envelope to the last level and to what purpose?
You need to know a few things before engaging in a building search. Are you certain your defendant or fugitive is inside, or is it the common mistake of the new age bounty hunter’s saying, with false pride, I am coming in and there is nothing you can do about it? You can believe what you may on this type of situation, but I personally tread very lightly on it.
I have been working in this field or similar one’s for approximately 31 years, and just because I could didn’t always mean I should. Common sense and knowledge probably will be your biggest allies in making this decision but believe me, for every law there is another law that contradicts I to some degree and if you are dealing with an unfriendly, you yourself could be on the wrong side of the handcuffs. The charges may not stick or even be dropped but who wants to go to jail and need to spend the money on attorneys?
We are afforded similar powers as the police such as arresting and transporting prisoners, and honestly I think we both play a very important role in the judicial system today. Working together instead of against each other would be the ideal situation, but you can’t always have that. So when you can’t, you must be very careful of what actions you take because these actions could come back to bite you many times over. We as recovery agents have a job of returning wanted fugitives back to justice after they are given a bail bond through a surety or bail bondsman where police put people in jail for committing the initial crimes. Law enforcement is also responsible for putting them back in jail for failing to meet there obligation of going to court, which is similar to us, but we have to guarantee it with our money. What better way to make sure someone appears in court, but once the police arrest them their strings are cut. When we bail someone out, our strings are tied tight all the way till the end, which is a big difference.
We as bail bondsman and bail enforcement agents hold a very important part in the system. Financially helping the system and also guaranteeing that the defendant will return or the company has to pay face value of the bond, but responsibility in this matter is essential. There should be no cowboys, GI Joe’s etc., so many of the new people have watched bounty hunter shows and all of a sudden they want to do it, believe me it’s not easy nor is it an easy life, and there is a lot of responsibility. Studies show that over 80 percent of the fugitives returned to justice are returned by bail enforcement agents. The bail profession is a multimillion dollar industry for many local municipalities’ revenue around the country yearly. All this is self-sustained; there is no money to the tax payers, so yes I believe we should be held to a higher standard. Did you know that there approximately 15-20 bail enforcement agents killed or shot every year? That’s just a small percentage compared to the police. But when you have only a few thousand bounty hunters and hundreds of thousands of cops it equals out per capita. So next time you want to show your ass and break down a door think, what’ll happen next? Think about the possibility of someone being on the other side with a gun. Think of why you feel the need to do it; is it necessary or will giving it more time bring the defendant out? Think about your actions and the possibility of going to jail yourself and mostly think of your family and your life. So are you above the law, no, but you will abide by it or you will become a statistic for sure.
Stay safe and alert my brothers and sisters.