California Bounty Hunting Laws
How to Become a Bounty Hunter Practicing Fugitive Recovery as a Bail Enforcement Agent

How to Legally Become and

Lawfully Bounty Hunt in California


See with Your Own Eyes and Hear with Your Own Ears


If “A picture is a worth a thousand words,” what are 30 frames a second worth?


The requirements to become a bounty hunter in California, while seemingly direct pursuant to California Penal Codes Sections beginning with 1299, are immeasurably more convoluted to the extent that one's more precise queries should fall within the realm of questions more on point to lawful bounty hunting with an emphasis on staying out of criminal court, civil court and the morgue.


The Below Video Will Save You from Being Ripped off by Grifters, Hucksters and people of low character suffering from a severe case of rascality and who prey on the trustworthiness of good people.  Please do not skip the below video and its commentary.

Separately but symbiotically on point, it takes methodical pre-investigation, ongoing due diligence, maturity and patience to discover the less than obvious keys to becoming a successful bounty hunter, but, at the same time, marketable California bounty hunters are well educated, accomplished and experienced in relative skill sets to the extent that this seemingly inconsequential video has no training value—or at least it appears to be void of training value to those who lack the patience to really listen and watch how a room with over 60 years of bounty hunting experience operates within applicable fugitive recovery laws and closes capers that others cannot and also within hours versus weeks or months.


Recent anonymous callers are inexorably, inexplicably, and admittedly either now bounty hunting or are taking action to enter into the bounty hunting trade with these more common errors: taking the wrong 40 hour powers of arrest class due to the unconscionably scandalous or wholly ignorant alleged actions of one or two security training schools, illegally bounty hunting in so-called ride-along capacities, illegally bounty hunting without legally required arrest documentation, failing to perform due diligence, and all of which and more is discussed or listed in captions in this free video put out as a service to preserve the health of the Bail Industry in California.


It is understood and accepted that a poorly lit, and grainy video with sub-standard audio that exceeds 15 to 30 seconds will be abandoned by some who are only curious about dabbling in bounty hunting, but, as a bail bond company owner myself, I understand the indisputable nature of liability intrinsic to bounty hunting and specifically in relation to a prospective bounty hunter who cannot or will not patiently and decisively make a thorough study of bounty hunting in favor of glossing over, or avoiding, or simply lacks the patience to bounty hunt legally but who will not be bounty hunting for me or any of my clients or their clients—it is just too risky.


The final point is this: everything said and seen in this video was before ever conducting any surveillance, knocking on any doors, making any contacts, and is standard operating procedure for professional bounty hunters prepping for the first attempt to apprehend a bail jumper.


Stay Safe and Watch Your Sixes ~ Rex

Copyright 1992 - 2017 Bailspeak, All Rights Reserved





Opinion Editorial


By Rex Venator


The business of bounty hunting is the result of a private civil contract between private citizens who, by the nature of bail, themselves, voluntarily invoke the jurisdiction of the government inasmuch that a defendant’s own failure to perform on the private civil bail contract made his or herself a fugitive from justice and equally triggers the enforcement of the bail contract by bounty hunters as a civil matter that is, oddly, under the jurisdiction of a criminal court.


Fugitive recovery by bounty hunters seems simple enough, but tracking and apprehending wanted fugitives is horrifically complex when one begins to understand that no one code or section of a code but many separate codes and code sections are applicable during the act of bounty hunting.


Here we arrive at a growing number of, arguably, makeshift bounty hunter schools in Los Angeles California that are, from an experienced bounty hunter’s perspective, plainly jury-rigged together from, on the surface, seemingly related areas of private-sector security and executive protective training arriving from people with backgrounds in civilian law enforcement, special weapons and tactical police units, military special operations and with seemingly heavy emphasis NOT on private bail contract enforcement but, rather, firearms training, close quarter (S.W.A.T.) battle dynamic entry training, and all of which is nevertheless important; however, there is much, much, more to becoming a bounty hunter then causing the reasonable person to believe that one or more persons are peace officers by a combination of variables such as clothing, badges, weapons, behaviors, and not knowing how to speak to a reasonable person like a bounty hunter and not a cop.


In all fairness, I myself have been known to bounty hunt third strikers, looking at 25-to-life and nothing to lose by killing anyone attempting to apprehend them and in full tactical gear, but going tactical is rare and even more of a rarity than it was just ten years ago—times and public tolerances have changed and so then we must change our “tactics” in the bounty hunting trades.


Spending an inordinate number of training hours going through doors and firing weapons should be undertaken, in my personal opinion, as supplemental training and not primary bail enforcement training and should include areas of study such as applicable Penal, Business & Professions, Insurance, Government, Corporate, Civil Procedure, Evidence, Health & Safety, Welfare & Institutions, and other California Codes in combination with basic contract and bail law and motion studies of current published case cites and all of which have bits and pieces that come together to lawfully bounty hunt and with an emphasis on how to stay out of civil court, criminal court and the morgue.


California Penal law is clear when it comes to lawful bounty hunting; a bounty hunter must carry, at the very least and not total and complete in terms of requirements to bounty hunt in California, with him or her two certifications: 20 Hour Bail Agent Pre-Licensing certificate from a California Department of Insurance Approved Bail Education Provider, and a Penal Code 832 40 Hour Powers of Arrest P.O.S.T. (NOT the 40 hour Guard Card Powers of Arrest security course) certificate usually obtained through a college.


One may fire thousands of bullets and train for hundreds of hours like police officers serving a high-risk warrant, but not one bullet or training takedown scenario will make one a lawful bounty hunter without obtaining the aforementioned Penal Code 1299 Required bail fugitive recovery Certifications.


I’d like to be very clear here.  Any person who is taking action to enter into the bounty hunting trades should and must undertake high-risk fugitive apprehension training in support of learning how to lawfully bounty hunt and not the other way around; learning how to lawfully bounty hunt, in my personal opinion, takes priority and should be a primary focus.


To put things in perspective, I myself have closed quite a few bounty cases with a warm cup of coffee, threadbare sweats, a keyboard, a mouse, and a working knowledge of bail law and motion with no guns, no body armor, no expensive multi-month investigations, and no liability!  This strategy has never fallen short when it comes to cost to benefit analysis.


Have I been known to go through doors after wanted felony fugitives or traipsed through a heavily wooded area in pursuit of dangerous bail jumpers?  Absolutely, but I’ve done every bit of my bounty hunting lawfully and liability-free since 1992.  I’ve been bounty hunting for 22 years and didn’t open up a school in 2014 after retiring from a law enforcement agency after 22 years; there is a major distinction that should be considered by those seeking bail education.


It is your hind quarters on the line out there; it is you and your family who will suffer if something goes wrong, so do your own research to confirm what others—including me—tell you; don’t fall into the trap that because someone is licensed or has been this or that for 10, 20 or 30 years that they know what they’re talking about.  You yourself should always do your own research to include Due Diligence on your bail jumper cases to avoid being sued, going to prison, maimed or killed.


I realize the last part of the above paragraph sounds contradictory to the crux of this opinion editorial with respect to prioritizing your training, but trained, educated and experienced bounty hunters can explain why it isn’t a clashing of logics but, rather, is the symbiotic nature of bounty hunting within our American Justice System.


Why Proper Bail Education Matters


Opinion Editorial by Rex Venator


I did not wake up one day and decide to be a bail education training instructor with no background in bail and its many, many subparts to include bail fugitive recovery.


My work in California Bail Education arrives from my earlier work in bounty hunting followed by bail bonds and then branching off into many other areas with some related to bail and others unrelated to bail.  In any case, I am able to openly communicate with surety executives, California Department of Insurance personnel, lawyers working on bail related matters in the California Superior Court systems, government investigators trying to understand how bail works, bounty hunters, major bail bond corporations, and the Mom and Pop shops that hire bounty hunters for fugitive recovery work.


As the photo included with this analysis may illustrate, I’ve been working in the California Bail Bonds Industry for many years, and I’ve crashed and burned from time to time but never gave up at anything.


I bring this up today because it would appear that more and more people are themselves branching off into bail education with an emphasis in fugitive recovery or bail enforcement but with an important distinction being the background in bail doesn’t seem to be present.


Succinctly put, while agent safety is very important in bail recovery, emphasizing training away from how to legally apprehend and book bail jumpers in favor of training in guns, guns and more guns is, arguably, counterproductive to becoming a bounty hunter simply because nearly all of those mentioned in paragraph one above and who hire bounty hunters may be held liable for what their bounty hunters do or do not do.  In other words, firearms as a self-defense tool in bounty hunting may very well be a fact and necessary tools of the trade, but people who hire bounty hunters probably won’t be impressed enough to take a purely firearms trained person seriously enough to hire.


How do I know this?  Well, a very long time ago, I myself had to learn how to advertise my bounty hunting services, and bail bond company owners were known to pass on me and anyone else who presented as a liability because the guns were too prevalent in the advertising.  Read: crash and burn and then the advertising problems were (see photograph) quickly fixed.


I maintain that proper firearm training is critical, but having only firearms training may not be a critical ingredient in finding work; accordingly, I find it curious that schools are now advertising bail enforcement courses but the backgrounds of most of the listed instructors is not in bail and in some cases not in bail at all.


This post isn’t about bail school competition popping up; the Free Market will sort out who stays and who goes.  This post is about providing certain points to consider if you or someone you know is thinking of taking steps to become a licensed bail agent, certified bail fugitive recovery person, or need to hire bounty hunters for bail bond forfeitures.


There is more information on how to become a bail bondsman and bounty hunter on the Bailspeak Mother website and many of its support websites ~ Good Luck and Stay Safe!


Any bail agent, who does his or her own bounty hunting on his or her own “paper,” who was licensed AFTER January 1, 2000 may be required to be California Penal Code 1299 Compliant to include completing 20 hours of bail agent pre licensing; indeed, Bailspeak’s bail agent pre licensing course continuously exceeds bail education requirements.


According to the California Department of Insurance, there is no such thing as being “Grandfathered in” to anything; however, there are cases where certain aspects of bail and bounty hunting have exceptions or exemptions under very precise circumstances and all of which is common instruction to Bailspeak classes.


Every Sunday and every Monday of each 20 hour bail agent pre licensing course are also separately overlapping Continuing Bail Education classes, Approved by the California Department of Insurance, for six hours each or 12 hours total CE Credit consisting of timely and relevant changes to bail laws and how those changes are impacted by societal shifts in thinking.


Sunday is Lawful Bounty Hunting, and Monday is Advanced Bounty Hunting bail law and motion studies.  These subject areas change at the speed of a text and therefore cannot be adequately covered in antiquated, online Bail CE courses with some containing course content that may be totally obsolete and endemic with information that may lead to unnecessary liability.