Once the court date passes, the bail bond agency will not receive their money back until they catch the defendant and he or she shows up to court. The bail bond agency has about three options at this point: 1) they could not pursue the fugitive and let the money go, 2) they could try to find the fugitive on their own and catch him or her, or the more popular choice, 3) Hire a bounty hunter to find the fugitive for them.
If they choose to hire a bounty hunter, they will usually pay a bounty, or monetary reward. The bounty on the fugitive will most likely be 10% of the bail amount from the case; however, the bounty hunter may charge more depending on how hard it was to find the fugitive and how much the hunter had to spend during his search for the fugitive. Bounty Hunters are also known as bail enforcement agents and fugitive recovery agent and their main purpose is to locate and capture any defendant that decides to skip bail and try to evade their court date.
In the United States, bounty hunters are responsible for the capture of about 90% of all bail jumpers and help ensure that all fugitives attend their trial. Bounty hunters are also sometimes called skiptracers because they do search for people by means of electronic devices, but they use that information more directly by using it as a guide on where to pursue the subject, which takes them off of the category of just a skiptracer. The laws regarding how to be a bounty hunter are pretty much the same throughout the country; however, some states have specific laws that deal with pursuing a fugitive and some that describe types of engagement on a fugitive. Bounty hunters do not need any special training or license to operate on a case; they just need to be sanctioned by a bail bond agency to pursue the suspect. Although this is true for most states in the country, some states require all bounty hunters to receive special training in order to operate in that state.
Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Wisconsin have heavily restricted bounty hunting or have banned bounty hunting altogether. This means that if a fugitive were to run away from their court date, it would be illegal for any bail bond agency to pursue a fugitive within those borders. Bounty hunters are allowed to use any force necessary to capture the fugitive and in some cases they may be forced to use deadly force depending on the terms of the bounty that is done by the bail bond agency. Bounty hunters are not police and do not have the right to pursue any person they feel fit, they must be hired by a bail bond agency to pursue one suspect.