New Oklahoma Law Requires Bounty Hunters To Be Licensed

Thursday, October 31st 2013, 10:32 pm
By: News On 6

Rounding up criminals could make you a criminal, starting this Friday, if you don't have a license. It's a new law many have been fighting to have on the books for years.

Before the law was passed, anyone - even convicted felons - could be bounty hunters.

Many say that was giving their business a bad name.

Lenny Biggers and Salomon Dionicio have been working together for nearly a decade. The two go all over town searching for criminals who've jumped bail. Both are hoping the new Bail Enforcement and Licensing law will make people take their jobs more seriously.

"It will weed out the people that do not know the laws," Dionicio, a bail bondsman, said.

Lenny Biggers, a bounty hunter, said, "We need it bad. This is something that is desperately needed."

Starting November 1, bounty hunters can't have anything on their uniform that gives the impression they're with law enforcement. That means Biggers will have to throw out his shirt that says "fugitive recovery"

"Nothing that says anything about bail enforcement. It will have to be bail enforcer," Biggers said.

They'll also have to be licensed through the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training, or CLEET.

"There's a lot of people out there who wake up in the middle of the night after watching 'Dog' and say, 'Hey, I want to be a bounty hunter. This looks like fun,'" Biggers said.

In fact, while we were talking, Dionicio got a call from an amateur wanting to work for him.

Caller: "I'm a bounty hunter and I'm pretty serious about what I do. I want to see if you need help finding her?"
Salomon Dionicio, Bail Bondsman: "Are you certified by law that goes into effect tonight at midnight?"

Dionicio said he gets those calls every day, and most have no idea what law he's talking about.

"It's extremely dangerous if you do not know what you're doing," Dionicio said.

Even if a bounty hunter has his or her concealed handgun license, they must also get a carrying license through CLEET, or they could face prison time.