Arizona

In Arizona, laws governing bounty hunting can be found in Title 20 and Title 30 of the Arizona Statutes.  Bail recovery agent means “any person who has never been convicted in any jurisdiction of theft or of a felony or any crime involving carrying or the illegal use or possession of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument and who is employed or hired as an independent contractor or otherwise utilized by a bail bond agent to assist the bail bond agent in presenting a defendant in court when required, in apprehending a defendant and surrendering the defendant to a court or in keeping a defendant under necessary surveillance.  Bail recovery agent does not include an attorney or law enforcement officer who acts in an official capacity and who assists a bail bond agent in the bail bond agent’s business[i].”

In Arizona, a surety can empower a bail recovery agent to arrest a defendant[ii].  For the purpose of surrendering the defendant, a surety on the bail bond of a defendant may empower a bail recovery agent to arrest the defendant before the forfeiture of the undertaking or, by written authority attached to a certified copy of the undertaking[iii].

Pursuant to A.R.S. § 20-340.04, the surety or bail bond agent employing, hiring as an independent contractor, or otherwise utilizing a bail recovery agent must advise the department of insurance in writing that the bail recovery agent is providing the services to the surety or bail bond agent on a given case or cases.  The written notice to the department of insurance must be given within twenty-four hours after the retention.  It must include the name, date of birth, home and business addresses, and telephone number of the bail recovery agent.  The bail recovery agent identified in the written notice must certify on the written notice, under penalty of perjury, that the bail recovery agent has never been convicted in any jurisdiction of theft or of any felony or any crime involving carrying or the illegal use or possession of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument and that the bail recovery agent has complied with all the necessary requirements[iv].

Pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-3885, a bail recovery agent or a bail bond agent cannot do the following:

  • enter an occupied residential structure without the consent of the occupants who are present at the time of the entry;
  • conduct a bail recovery arrest or apprehension without written authorization from a bail bond agent licensed in Arizona;
  • wear, carry, or display any uniform, badge, shield or other insignia or emblem that implies that the bail recovery agent is an employee, officer, or agent of this state, a political subdivision of this state or the federal government.   However, a bail recovery agent can display identification that indicates the agent’s status as a bail recovery agent only;
  • authorize or allow any third party bail recovery agent to undertake an apprehension or arrest if the bail recovery agent has been convicted in any jurisdiction of theft or of any felony or any crime involving carrying or the illegal use or possession of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument[v].

 

Pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-3885, a person violating the above provisions is guilty of a class 5 felony.

Additionally, A.R.S. § 20-340.04 provides for bail recovery agent’s prohibitions and criminal records checks.  A person who has been convicted in any jurisdiction of theft, any felony, or any crime involving the carrying or illegal use or possession of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument cannot act as a bail recovery agent.  S/he must submit a full set of fingerprints to the department before acting as a bail recovery agent.  S/he must submit a new set of fingerprints on or before September first of every third year after initial identification by the bail bond agent in the report that is filed with the director of insurance.  The department of insurance submits the fingerprints to the department of public safety for the purpose of obtaining a state and federal criminal records check.  A person acting as a bail recovery agent on behalf of a bail bond agent and a person who conducts any action relating to a bail recovery or apprehension must be identified by the bail bond agent in the report that is filed with the director of insurance[vi].

[i] A.R.S. § 13-3885.

[ii] A.R.S. § 20-282.

[iii] Id.

[iv] A.R.S. § 20-340.04.

[v] Id.

[vi] Id.


Inside Arizona