2010 Tennessee Code
Title 40 - Criminal Procedure
Chapter 11 - Bail
Part 3 - Professional Bondsmen
40-11-318 - Bounty hunting.

40-11-318. Bounty hunting.

(a)  “Bounty hunting” means a person who acts as an agent of a professional bondsman who attempts to or takes into custody a person who has failed to appear in court and whose bond has been forfeited, for a fee, the payment of which is contingent upon the taking of a person into custody and returning the person to the custody of the professional bondsman for whom the bounty hunter works; provided, that “bounty hunting” does not include the taking into custody of a person by a professional bondsman.

(b)  No person who has been convicted of a felony shall serve as a bounty hunter in the state of Tennessee. Persons having been convicted of a felony who perform the services of a bounty hunter as defined in this section commit a criminal offense, punishable as a Class A misdemeanor.

(c)  Before a bounty hunter takes into custody any person who has failed to appear in court, the bounty hunter shall comply with § 40-11-401, make a good faith effort to verify the person's address, and present to the office of the appropriate law enforcement officer of the political subdivision where the taking will occur:

     (1)  A certified copy of the underlying criminal process against the defendant;

     (2)  A certified copy of the bond or capias;

     (3)  Proper credentials from a professional bondsman in Tennessee or another state verifying that the bounty hunter is an agent of a professional bondsman; and

     (4)  A pocket card certifying that the bounty hunter has completed the training required by this section or, if the bounty hunter is from a state other than Tennessee, proof that the bounty hunter successfully completed an equivalent amount of training in the bounty hunter's home state within the last year.

(d)  Failure to present all of the proper credentials as specified in this section to the office of the appropriate law enforcement officer prior to taking any person into custody shall be punishable as a Class A misdemeanor.

(e)  A professional bondsman, who knowingly employs a convicted felon to act as an agent of the bondsman for purposes of taking into custody a person who failed to appear in court, commits a Class A misdemeanor.

[Acts 1998, ch. 1019, § 1; 2001, ch. 430, § 1.]  

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