Given that reality TV has made its way into American homes, shows like "Pet dog the bounty hunter," and National Geographic "Bounty hunter" In fact, they’ve filled living rooms with tough-as-nails characters, vibrant stories, and scenes of breaking down doors and confronting runaways. Pet the Bounty Seeker has become a surname. However, while these shows produce good entertainment, they hardly reveal what life is like for a true guarantor. While bail bondsmen bail out sixteen bail captains each day, conflicts as dramatic as those revealed on television are few and far between. However, catching unpredictable fugitives must be dangerous work, and bailiffs must take the correct security measures.
When a defendant is arrested and cannot pay the bail set by the judge, he usually calls a surety. Once the security is agreed and the paperwork is signed, the bail agent provides the bail money and the defendant is released. The surety then makes sure that the defendant appears in court. Most of the time, everything goes according to plan; However, there are also times when the defendant skips bail hearings, and the surety must apprehend the defendant. "jump" and take him back to jail. Although these confrontations are not usually violent, some guarantors carry weapons as an additional precaution.
A common question asked of experienced bail bondsmen is whether becoming a surety guarantees them to carry a gun. What many people don’t realize is that surety bonds are subject to the same rules and regulations as ordinary citizens. They are not allowed to carry weapons unless they have a proper license issued by the state in which they live. Bail bond agents must take courses specific to the firearms they will carry, and the courses must be administered by organizations approved by the Division of Criminal Investigations and Technical Services.
Gun laws and guidelines vary from state to state. For this reason, it is essential that anyone wishing to become a guarantor is aware of the policies of the state in which they live, including the rules regarding brandishing and releasing weapons in public. Although guarantors are allowed to carry guns and capture suspects, they still have to abide by the same gun statutes that routine citizens are expected to follow.
In addition to going through certification and training to carry a gun, bail bondsmen must pass criminal background checks. If they have prior convictions, they are not allowed to carry weapons. Recently, a bail bondsman in Maryland was arrested for having a .38 caliber revolver in his possession. Due to a prior conviction for robbery, he was prohibited from carrying a pistol.
A surety must recognize not only the laws regarding weapons, but also the laws regarding the arrest and detention of suspects. If a bail bond agent uses excessive and unnecessary force in catching a defendant, or arrests the wrong person, you face potential claims and even criminal charges. Although the circumstances are a couple of circumstances, there are times when bail bondsmen find themselves "jump" who do not wish to be apprehended. In such scenarios, when the life of a surety is at stake, the question arises: When is it okay for a surety to fire a weapon in defense?
In 2008, a Washington man who skipped bail on several pending criminal charges was confronted by four bail bond agents. The suspect reversed his car against one of the officers and the officer, fearing for his life, fatally shot him. In a separate incident in 2012, two California bail agents were on the receiving end of the fatal shooting, killed while attempting to apprehend a defendant who had missed bail on a drug possession charge. Sureties must be prepared for anything. They know that backup is essential, as even a violent incident with a jump can be too much.
David Viele, a 10-year bail bond veteran, says that even though he carries a gun, he has never had to use it, because in most cases, the suspect surrenders. So while the jobs of real bail bondsmen are not the drama that unfolds on reality TV, the work of a bail bondsman can be dangerous and unpredictable. That is why some choose to carry weapons. However, guarantors know that they are subject to the same gun laws as ordinary citizens. For this reason, they are required to undergo firearms training before becoming surety, and are responsible for the way they use their weapons.