What it means to be on House arrest | Full Guide

What is House Arrest?

House arrest, often known as “electronic monitoring,” is a sort of criminal sentencing that is used instead of imprisonment or prison time. An electronic monitoring device is frequently attached to the arrestee’s ankle and is difficult to remove. The device tracks the arrestee’s movements and location using GPS.

House arrestees are normally not restricted to their homes, but are only allowed to leave for pre-approved sites and activities. Although their movement and freedom are still restricted and monitored, unlike incarceration, house arrest permits a person to remain active in society and at home.

House arrest comes with a set of rules that must be obeyed. In most circumstances, the following house arrest guidelines apply:

The arrestee is assigned a probation officer who will monitor compliance and visit with them on a regular basis to ensure that they are meeting all of their sentence’s terms. The arrestee may also be subjected to “surprise” or “random” check-ins by the probation officer. It’s possible that the arrestee will be forced to abstain from both narcotics and alcohol. The probation officer might inspect the arrestee’s residence to ensure that no illegal substances are present. The arrestee must obey the curfew in the evening. The arrestee must submit to drug testing at any time.

As part of their sentencing, the arrestee is often required to perform community service. If the arrestee breaks the home arrest rules, they may have to serve the balance of their sentence in jail or prison.

Who is Eligible for House Arrest?

Offenders must normally meet specific criteria in order to be eligible for house arrest. Nonviolent offenders are usually eligible for house arrest. It also occurs more frequently in first-time offenders than in recurrent offenders. The criminal must be able to live in or near the jurisdiction that is imposing the sentence. Most of the time, the perpetrator must have a landline phone at home. When assessing whether house arrest is an acceptable penalty, the court will take into account the offender’s employment options as well as their family and community support.

House arrest may not be available to an offender who utilized their home in the commission of the crime for which they are being punished.

How Do I Apply for House Arrest?

In most criminal instances, the prosecution will offer a recommendation for sentencing, but the judge will decide whether the offender is qualified for house arrest. One of a criminal lawyer’s responsibilities is to show why their client is a good candidate for house arrest.

During the sentencing phase of the trial, you and your attorney will need to show that you and your counsel meet the jurisdiction’s eligibility standards. For instance, you might be required to demonstrate the following:

  • This was your first transgression.
  • You were convicted of a non-violent offense and have no prior criminal record.
  • You have a track record of stable employment or can show that you will be able to find work.

Any documentation that may help you demonstrate that you are a good candidate for home arrest can be brought to court. During sentencing, your lawyer can also arrange for witnesses to testify on your behalf.

What Happens If I Violate House Arrest?

If you break the terms of your home arrest, your probation officer will either issue a warning or summon you to court for a hearing. Following a violation of home confinement, the probation officer may recommend that the rest of the term be served in jail or prison. If the offense was small, the court may modify the curfew or the list of allowed reasons to leave the house.

The consequences of a violation of home confinement will be determined by the facts and circumstances of the offense. If the offense was caused by a personal or family medical emergency, the court may be more indulgent.

Can I Leave My Home At All While Under House Arrest?

House arrest is a misnomer because the arrestee is nearly always permitted to leave their home for pre-approved reasons or to destinations specified in the Home Detention Agreement. An arrestee may leave their house for a variety of reasons, including:

  • School Work Medical Appointments
  • Community service and counseling
  • Church
  • Testing for drugs
  • Probation officer consultations


The arrestee may also request and be allowed release for other reasons, but these decisions are determined on a case-by-case basis by the probation officer. Within a specified distance of their house and only before the predetermined curfew, the arrestee may be permitted more freedom of movement.

How to Handle an active Warrant for your arrest | Full Guide

The most important thing to do if you discover that a bench warrant or arrest warrant has been issued against you, or that you have missed a court session that you were ordered to attend (as a defendant or a witness), is to act quickly. The judge may have issued a bench warrant for your arrest because you failed to appear. This implies that the police can arrest you at any moment, whether it’s during a routine traffic stop, at your home or business, or when you appear in court for another reason. If you do not address the warrant, you will be continuously concerned that you may be arrested.

Types of Warrants

A bench warrant has been issued. A bench warrant instructs law enforcement to apprehend a person and bring them before a court to address the reason for the warrant’s issuance. Bench warrants are typically issued for failing to appear in court, breaching probation, or failing to comply with a court order to pay a fine, perform community service, pay child support, or perform some other act. If you are arrested on a warrant, you may be detained until your case is heard in court, or you may be compelled to post a large bail and pay court fees.

Arrest warrant has been issued. An officer or detective can ask the court to issue a warrant for your arrest if the police have solid evidence that you committed a crime. You can be kept in detention without bail until an arraignment, release hearing, or other comparable action.

Consequences of Missing a Court Appearance

You may receive a summons or notification in the mail to appear in court for minor criminal accusations or traffic tickets. A court order is a summons or notice to appear. You may be expected to attend multiple times during a criminal case, depending on the charges — for an arraignment, pre-trial conference, hearing, trial, sentencing, or other event. You have violated the court order if you do not present as directed, and the judge might charge you with failure to appear or contempt of court.

If you fail to appear, the court can take a variety of remedies, including charging you with a felony.

A bench warrant has been issued. A bench warrant, as previously stated, authorizes law enforcement to arrest you and bring you before the court to address your failure to appear. On a bench warrant, you can be held without bond until the court schedules a hearing.

There will be a jail term as well as penalties. If you are found guilty of failure to appear or contempt of court, a judge might send you to prison or fine you. Typically, defendants are not informed of their constitutional right to counsel at this time, a practice that South Carolina’s Chief Justice has ruled unlawful (the Justice ordered a county’s sheriff’s office to delay such warrants’ delivery).

Your driver’s license will be suspended. In some places, if you fail to appear in court, the judge might order your driver’s license to be suspended. The suspension will last at least until you appear in front of a judge to explain why you failed to appear.

Revocation of the bond or a change in the terms of the release. If the court has previously released you on your own recognizance without asking you to post a bond, the judge may amend your conditions of release by imposing a bond, which requires you to deposit money with the court in order to be freed from detention while your case is pending. The court may enhance your bond if you posted bond in your criminal case. In any instance, the judge may order that you remain in custody until your case is resolved.

Everything You Need to Know About Fugitive Recovery

Everything You Need to Know About
Fugitive Recovery

Crime rates across the United States of America are soaring. Justice catches up with the perpetrators sooner or later. A fugitive is described as a person who is on the run from Justice. Criminal law has statutory provisions to put criminals to trial under relevant statutory law. When a fugitive is at liberty, it can be a threat to the society. To effectively manage the crime rates, fugitive recovery is important to catch the them and hand them over to justice. The right place for criminals is behind bars.

What is Fugitive Recovery?

The job of a fugitive recovery agent is to catch persons running away from justice and to put them behind bars so that they can be tried as per the legal provisions listed in various statutes. Persons accused of crimes, fraud, economic offences often disappear despite providing the assurance that they shall make it to court appearances. This can defeat the purpose of justice altogether. Not only is it detrimental to the victims and stakeholders, it is also detrimental for the society as a whole. When a fugitive is on the run, there is a greater possibility of the perpetrator repeating the crime. This can endanger the security of many other people as well.

Multi-tasking a Prerequisite

Fugitive recovery calls for immense personal judgment as well as the dexterity to “wear many hats,” and multi-task, depending upon the type of recovery.

Agents are usually self-employed professionals. It is therefore an important precondition of the job to be constantly aware of the government statutes and legal provisions. The agents should also have knowledge and awareness about the varying rules and regulations for agents in different states. The agent must be well aware of state wise restrictions that prohibit bounty hunters from carrying firearms or entering a fugitive’s home in order to make an arrest.

Who Hires Fugitive Recovery Agents?

Bail agents are usually the ones to employ fugitive recovery agents. A bail agent is a person who furnishes a bail bond on behalf of a criminal. In simple terms a bail agent is a person, usually a relative or friend of the accused, who pays a certain sum of money as a bail bond to assure the authorities that the accused will appear before the court. Bail bonds are often also furnished by licensed bail bondsmen.

Why Do People Hire Fugitive Recovery Agents?

A fugitive recovery agent is hired to track down the fugitives by carrying out an ardent evaluation into their previous locations, details and more. An agent is a person who has the required skill and prowess in carrying out background checks and surveillance procedures to be able to track the current location of fugitives. They have to be adept at finding out about the whereabouts of a person based on their previous sightings, financial records, phone calls and accounts of witnesses. Fugitive recovery plays an important role in the delivery of justice.

What Rights Do Fugitive Recovery Agents Have?

Where Do They Get Their Authority?

The laws governing the services of Fugitive recovery agents vary from state to state. There are states that confer upon the recovery agents the right to arrest. There are other states that do not allow bounty hunters to make arrests. In many states across America bounty hunters can only go as far as informing the authorities. Police officers are immune to legal trial if they cause bodily harm or injury to an accused person in course of their action. Agents do not have similar legal protections against injuries to non-fugitives who get injured in the process of taking action upon the accused.

Fugitive Recovery

Where Can They Make an Arrest?

Certain states in America such as Kentucky, Illinois and Oregon do not allow fugitive recovery agents to make arrests. Then there are other states that place certain other restriction on the rights of a bounty hunter in his pursuit of the accused person.

One of the most important requirements here is for the bounty hunter or fugitive recovery agent to have the requisite license. It is therefore extremely important to keep in mind, while hiring a bounty hunter that he has the required license. In the absence of this license the accused may exploit this statutory loophole to escape from the clutches of justice.

Can They Carry Guns?

The right of bounty hunters, fugitive recovery agents or so called bail agents to carry firearms varies from one state to another. It depends upon the jurisdiction of each state if the bounty hunters can carry guns, though most agents carry less lethal weapons.

How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Fugitive Recovery Agent?

Usually hiring the services of a bounty hunter costs about 10% of the total amount of the bail bond furnished. It can also be much more if the accused has a previous record of being a hardened criminal or a professional. 

The sum paid by the bail agent is called the bail bond. This is the amount required to secure the provisional liberty of the accused person. The fees of a bounty hunter is usually 10 percent of this sum. Although a fugitive recovery agent is usually hired by the bail agents, they are often also hired by the victims, investigators and even the state police departments. The bail agent stands to lose his money if the defendant doesn’t appear in court.

The Difference Between Fugitive Recovery and Bounty Hunting

Although the terms bounty hunter, bail bond agent and fugitive recovery agent are usually used interchangeably, there is vast difference between their professional operations. A fugitive recovery agent is a person who is legally licenced to secure the recovery of a fugitive person. The job of an agent is specifically to hand over a fugitive to justice.

A fugitive recovery agent is usually specially trained in skills such as surveillance, finding out previous criminal records, last sightings, previous criminal backgrounds as well as likely hideouts. In terms of the style of operation as well as the training, a fugitive recovery agent is a lot like a law enforcement officer.

A bounty hunter is a relatively more generic and broad term. A bounty hunter is a person usually off the street who may not have a license. Since bounty hunters don’t have licenses, they usually cannot carry guns or firearms. A bounty hunter may or may not have received any kind of special training.

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How Fugitive Recovery Differs from Law Enforcement

How Fugitive Recovery Differs From a
Law Enforcement

How Do Fugitive Recovery Agents Decide Who to Pursue?

The answer to this question lies in the nature of fugitive recovery business that the agent is engaged in. Where as many agents work as freelancers, many fugitive recovery agents work for bail bondsmen. Bail bonds men are persons who furnish the monetary sum required to secure a bail for an accused. 

The bond is paid in exchange for the surety that the defendant shall appear in court whenever he is asked to do so. When the fugitive evades court appearances, the bail bonds man is the person held responsible. Therefore, he has to hire a professional fugitive recovery agent to search for the defendant to bring him before the court of law. Thus, the bounty hunters or fugitive recovery agents usually get assignments from bail bondsman.

Difference In How You Get Hired

Whereas most fugitive recovery agents work as freelancers within their own right, many work with bail bondsman or other bounty hunters. Both types of occupational services have their own pros and cons.

Self Employed

Being self-employed makes you your own boss. You are free to follow your own decisions regarding the plan of action and strategy that you want to follow in order to locate and apprehend the defendant. It certainly gives you more flexibility and freedom to exercise your own decision. At the same time, it also requires you to work twice as hard because your reimbursement from your avocation will directly depend on the scope of your efforts. Also, running your own business can be stressful in the beginning. Starting out as a fugitive recovery agent requires basic management and accounting skills as well as dexterity in finance and taxation. A bounty hunter has to wear many hats. Multi-tasking is extremely important to the profession.

Starting Out as an Apprentice

Starting out as an apprentice may not mean big payments off the bat. At first, the agent may only make enough to make ends meet but working as an apprentice provides the agent with sufficient first hand exposure about the practises and methodology used for fugitive recovery.

Protocol Depending on the Severity of the Crime

Fugitive recovery agents are required to follow the rules and regulations set by statutory bodies in various states. The statutes pertaining to fugitive recovery vary from state to state. There are many states in the US that restrict bounty hunters from using firearms while entering a fugitive’s home. The regulations also differ according to the severity of the crime. Many states have no private bail system. Impersonating a police officer is also banned in all states. Bounty hunters must have a sound understanding of these laws to be able to make a lawful capture of the fugitive.

Safety Measures

The fugitive recovery agents often have to put their lives at stake to be able to apprehend the fugitives. The fugitives often evade the law to save themselves from imprisonment and the judicial process. They can go to any lengths to resist an arrest. It is therefore imperative that the bounty hunters take the necessary care and caution to prevent any bodily harm to themselves. They must take the required safeguards to ensure that they can apprehend the fugitive while protecting their own safety.

The bounty hunters are allowed to carry firearms in many states but they are not immune from legal prosecution if a non-fugitive gets hurt in the process or apprehends an accused. Here are some care and caution that they must observe:

The agents must be extremely vigilant at all times. The agents must make a thorough assessment of the situation before proceeding to the scene. The agent must inform the local law enforcement about their presence.

Bail Bonding

How Much Backup Do They Have

If the bounty hunters inform the local police that they have a reliable lead that a fugitive is hiding at a particular location, they can arrange for necessary back up in case they get into trouble later. Apprehending a defendant is never easy. The fugitive may try everything in his might to avoid arrest. In this case, the agent must use skill and tact to secure the arrest of the person.

Use of Force Requirements

Non-lethal force: A fugitive recovery agent cannot coercively gain entry into a premise or carry a weapon unless the local state laws provide for it. Most states prohibit the use of both lethal and non-lethal force upon the defendants to arrest them. In many states, it has been decided in several case laws and precedents that the agent cannot use lethal or non-lethal force upon the fugitive with the purpose of arresting the individual.

Lethal force: most states altogether prohibit the use of voluntary and unlawful use of force or violence upon another person. In a landmark judgement in the state of California is alleged that a bounty hunter fired warning shots to compel the fugitive. It was decided that it was not within the rights of a recovery agent to fire warning shots at a fugitive. The fugitive recovery agent must have the required documentation before apprehending a bail fugitive. The agent must not impersonate another law officer. Further it is important that the agent must provide at least six hours of notice to local law enforcement agencies. The authorities must be kept in the loop if the fugitive recovery agent proceeds to apprehend a bail fugitive, in the lack of exigent circumstances.

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How to Become a Fugitive Recovery Agent

How to Become a
Fugitive Recovery Agent

Legal Requirements for Becoming a Fugitive Recovery Agent

Although the legal requirements for becoming a fugitive recovery agent vary from state to state, here are some standard requirements:
  • It is a fundamental legal requirement for the candidate to be a legal resident of the United States of America
  • The candidate must meet the state specific ager requirements as prescribed by the local laws of the state they wish to work in.
  • Certain states in The United states of America carry out a thorough background check on the recovery agents. They must be cleared of any kind of past criminal record. Many states specifically check for any offences related to domestic violence or other felonies in the past record of the agents.
  • The candidate must also possess the required firearm license or weapon certification.
  • The candidate may also be required to furnish copies of fingerprints in many states.
  • Domestic violence or other felonies in the past record of the agents.
It is important to note that the legal requirements for becoming a fugitive recovery agent may vary from state to state. Whereas certain states have strict specifications, other states are more lenient.

Education Process for Becoming a Fugitive Recovery Agent

Apart from having a sound sense of morality and ethics, the candidate must be adept in the local laws related to federal bail recovery and the functioning and hierarchies of courts.  Here are some of the educational processes that a candidate has to go through in order to become a fugitive recovery agent:
The agent must possess a GED or high school diploma. In addition to the high school diploma, the candidate should also have some postsecondary training.
The minimum education requirements for becoming a fugitive recovery agent vary from state to state.
Certain states may require the applicant to have a school diploma or its equivalent. Several other states may only require the candidate to have attended certain specified training courses pertaining to law enforcement and fugitive recovery.
Fugitive Recovery Law

Education Process

It is also important that the fugitive recovery agent has a thorough understanding of federal bail recovery legal statutes.
Many states across America have prescribed a set training schedule for aspiring fugitive recovery agents. The candidates shall be required to complete the said certification program with a minimum qualifying grade.
The candidates are taught about the intricacies of the realm such as the various surveillance methods, interviewing techniques, fact-finding strategies, local laws, statutory procedures and safety precautions.
It is advisable for students who wish to pursue this profession to take criminal justice courses especially in the field of fugitive recovery if the course is available in their location.
The objective of such training programs is to teach the students about the nitty gritty of a career in fugitive recovery. The students are taught search and seizure procedures, techniques of criminal investigation as well as court procedures.
Many candidates choose to work as freelancers while others work for bail recovery agencies.

Training Schedule

Different states across America have differing training requirements. However, there are still several states that require the candidates to pass exams to attain their license or certification as fugitive recovery agents.

Physical Training Requirements for Fugutive Recovery Agents

Becoming a fugitive recovery agent comes with its own set of physical training requirements. The agent is expected to think on his feet, develop an investigating temperament and act quickly.

Tactical Experience

The students are required to acquire a basic knowledge and understanding of various tactical requirements such as:

The procedure of Arrest including the various state wise restrictions on conducting arrest, search and seizure.

  • Operating firearms as per state Law.
  • Working in close coordination with Law Enforcement agencies.
  • Learning the intricacies of conducting a criminal Investigation
  •  Use of Force, coercion and weapons
  • Marketing your services
  • Winning a Contract

Fitness Test

The candidate may be required to take the certified bail agent training program. Here is a detailed outline of some of the physical training requirements on the job.

  • The use of basic lethal and non- lethal firearms
  • Many states require the candidates to take the complete the 40-hour Police Officer Standard Training (Post) power of arrest course.
  • Physical fitness

Psychological Test

There are certain psychological traits associated with being a fugitive recovery agent. The candidate must have a high sense of morality and personal ethics. The candidate must also be extremely stable emotionally and should be able to work under pressure situations.

The candidate must consider it to be his moral imperative to put fugitives behind bars. The candidate also must have the required dexterity to connect dots and draw deductions based on leads and clues.

Application Process For Fugutive Recovery Agents

Here’s how you can become a fugitive recovery agent:

  • Look closely and examine the necessary qualifications and eligibility criteria as prescribed by your state. Doing a formal course will help you get a greater insight into the intricacies of the discipline.
  • Learn about the local laws and statutory provisions pertaining to the bail bond Recovery procedures.
  • The candidates are required to find out more about the Training Courses in bail bond Recovery and fugitive recovery. Pass the Required Licensing or Certification Exams in the state where you want to practice. It will also help you get a clearer understanding of the relevant statutory procedures involved in search, seizure and arrest.

Tips for Starting Out as a Fugitive Recovery Agent

1. Attain Relevant Industry Exposure

If you are enthusiastic about a career in fugitive recovery, you can start by serving as an apprentice. By assisting another agent or bounty hunter, you can gain valuable practical insight.

2. Develop a Relationship with Bail Bondsmen

By developing a relationship with bail bondsmen, you can get more assignments and also a practical knowledge of how to market your own services. Bounty hunters are usually paid around 10-25% of the value of the bond, as fees. Learning from a good bondsman will also teach you about the payment standards in this domain.

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