Legal rights/powers of bonds men


September 29, 2004, 12:27 AM
I've caught a couple episodes of this show on HBO called Family Bonds.

They have these people who are bounty hunters, looks like mostly non violent youths. Can't be sure because I've only seen a couple episodes.

Anyway, they have badges, but only one of the guys is armed. They go around knocking on doors and act like the police. They yell, curse and berate the people that they arrest. Generally acting like a bunch of bad@$$'s. :rolleyes:

What legal rights and powers do these guys have?

The big oversized guy was wearing his badge on a neck chain even when he wasn't on the job. Are these guys trying to be LEO's?

They knock on someones door and tell them, "Look through the peephole" and flash their badge. And they threaten to kick the persons door in.

I mean, if that person was armed, would they be justifed in defending themself? These guys wear black t-shirt with some letters printed on there and wear a badge. Anyone could get those and claim to be who they aren't.

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September 29, 2004, 12:41 AM
The only power they have is what was agreed to in the contract. You basically agree to let them come into your house after you if you skip bond. If I am not mistaken.

September 29, 2004, 12:42 AM
Anyone could get those and claim to be who they aren't.

Yes. And how do we know that all the police officere/LEOs we see aren't just people who went out and put together uniforms? Better shoot first and ask questions later, just to be safe.

September 29, 2004, 01:03 AM
If you do not up hold your end of the contract, then it is probably the real deal. If you where never arrested then be careful.

All of the bounty hunters that I have seen have been very professional.

September 29, 2004, 01:04 AM
And I have not comitted any crime (that would get my door kicked in)
so I would assume anyone dressed as an LE kicking in my door
was up to no good.
Thugs dress up like cops and commit home invasions all the time,there was a guy in CO pulling women over and raping them,impersonating an officer is easy.

I've seen a preview of the show you're talking about,the guy (dawg or something) is an ex con and can't carry a gun.
I'm not sure about the laws concerning bail enforcement,when ever I've looked into it all I've gotten was conjecture and rumor.

September 29, 2004, 01:04 AM
My understanding, too, is that the bond agreement you sign (the contract) usually gives the "bounty hunters" the right to do all sorts of things that would otherwise be illegal. These rights may, however, be limited by the laws in a particular state. So ultimately it depends on the language of the contract and the laws in your state, both of which will probably have a bunch of "gray areas." Which makes it pretty hard to generalize, but others undoubtedly have more experience than I do, since I have none.

September 29, 2004, 01:12 AM
it's sarcasm,not sarcasam


September 29, 2004, 01:43 AM
Ya sign the bail bond contract, ya takes your chances.

Of course, its also incumbent apon the bail bondsman to be sure he/she's got the right address before they go kicking in somebody's door. Since *I've* never signed a bail bond contract, bail bondsmen kicking in my door will be considered hostile boarders and treaded as such. 'Course, anybody kicking in my door will get the same welcome....

Ya got legitimate buisness, ya knock.

September 29, 2004, 02:13 AM
If they kick in the wrong door, they are completely liable for it.

And if you have a reasonable belief that that they are imposters, (and your not expecting any bountyhunters) then shoot.

September 29, 2004, 02:52 PM
There was a case about 8 or 10 years ago in Arizona where two or three bad guys pretended to be bondsmen and used that as a pretext to cover up what was really an armed robbery. The people in the house resisted and there was a shoot out. Otherwise it might never have been in the news. One of the occupents was killed and another wounded and if my memory is correct one of the ¨bondsmen¨ was also wounded. They claimed afterwards that they had raided the wrong house but it was soon learned that they were not bondsmen and ended up being charged with murder and armed robbery.

The USSC ruled on the powers of bondsmen in the 1870´s I believe and basically said that the contract is what determined how much power they have. This ruling is still the basic law on the powers of bondsmen. So for the most part these contracts allow them to do many things that law enforcement could not do as long as they are careful to only do those things to the person(s) who have signed the bond contract. There are also state laws that may add additional restrictions to the power of bondsmen that vary from state to state.

El Tejon
September 29, 2004, 03:11 PM
Really good University of Houston Law Review article on bail agents and their "powers" under contract.

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