Help! A Bounty Hunter Is After Me!
Colorado statutes define bail recovery as actions taken by a person other than a peace officer to take an individual into custody because of failure to comply with bail bond requirements. Or more succinctly: how a bounty hunter makes a living. Bob Burton, author of the book Bounty Hunter, says bounty hunters get paid more for one arrest than a police officer might earn in a week. That is some powerful incentive.
So, if you hope to out-run a bounty hunter, you might as well be a steak trying to out-run a hungry dog. (And yes, the most famous bounty hunter in the world is appropriately nicknamed Dog, although he says it stands for God spelled backwards. But that is another story.)
Colorado law requires bounty hunters to have 16 hours of training, to ensure that they stay within the boundaries of the law. Those boundaries, however, are different from what is legal under normal circumstances — for instance, a bounty hunter may legally enter your home without a warrant, or even force his way in. That is because, although you are physically free on bail, the legal system considers you a prisoner and subject to the diminished rights that come with that terrain.
With all that said, bear in mind that the courts allow 30 days from when you fail to appear in court for you to turn yourself in (unless the bounty hunters catch up with you first). For your bondsman, your appearance means he won’t have pay your full bail — and for you, it means he can call off the dogs.
Talk to your Colorado criminal defense attorney about how to get back on track before you are tracked down.