Interview with female bounty hunter Uyen Vu


#1

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#2

Never underestimate more mature ladies- just as you shouldn’t underestimate women bounty hunters.

But I have a better question- what kind of ass turns in a sixty year old lady to the cops for prosecution over her having pot - over some parking violations? Ass.


#3

What strikes me most is not the bounty hunter’s sex, but that in a modern country still exist bounty hunters.


#4

Well - it is a lot less glamorous or even violent than what you think of Bounty Hunters like in Star Wars or old westerns.

Basically it is people finding other people and either making them pay the money they owe, or send them back to jail so they can get their bail money back.


#5

Government-employed people who track down fugitives: police.
Government-employed people who make people pay money they owe: court bailiffs*.
Privately-employed people who track down fugitives: vigilantes.
Privately-employed people who make people pay money they owe: mafia.


* Had to look that one up, that seems to be the British term. The Austrian term happens to be “Exekutor”.


#6

The Bounty Hunters in the US are people who go after others who jumped bail.

If you get arrested in the US you can get a bail bonds man to bail you out. They front the money, you pay a fee or a percentage (that is how they make money.). You are supposed to show up for your court date. If you don’t show up for your court date the bail bondsman stands to loose that bail money, so they find you, take you to the police, and get their money back. Bounty hunters are some times directly employed by the bail bondsman, or are hired out on a contract basis. They don’t have the same powers at the police, but they can lawfully take you in to custody.

Honestly I think you have to be a pretty big dick to try to further screw over someone who basically loaned you thousands of dollars so you don’t have to sit in jail.


#7

If you do, you are either a criminal or you have insufficient trust in the US court system (“Plead guilty to armed robbery or we’ll put you to death for murder” might be a legitimate reason for an innocent person to cheat a third party out of several thousand dollars).

Police are also supposed to only take criminals into custody. Still, we don’t outsource it to private companies.

The existence of bail bondsmen also doesn’t sound very civilized to me. Isn’t bail supposed to be set at an amount that the suspect can afford to pay, but that is “painful” enough to encourage compliance? According to your description, it has essentially become “We suspect you of having committed a crime. Now pay X amount of ‘interest’ to this private company”. I am assuming the people who do show up still get to pay interest on their loan.


#8

Could you afford a modest $500 bail? $1000? I probably couldn’t. At least not with out some planning, and if I planned something I probably wouldn’t have gotten caught. But the point of bail is that you give up a sum of money to insure you come back for court - which you are likely to do if it is your money - less likely to do if it is someone elses. The bail bondsman fee is 10%, which for a short term loan isn’t that bad.

The bail bondsman isn’t the bad guy here. They are helping you out so you don’t have to sit in jail for your DUI or what ever and can go to work and everything works out in the end of you go to court (which most people do).

You don’t have citizens arrests there? Cops don’t have the time or inclination to go hunt down everyone with a warrant. Maybe if we legalized drugs they would free up some time.


#9

Yes. And I’m not a rich person. We have a “savings” rather than a “credit” tradition around here, which does make life less stressful, I think. For neighboring Germany, this German-language source says that only 16% of Germans have less than 1000 Euros in their savings accounts.

It seems that Americans working in a similar job usually get more money on their paycheck, but have less money disposable at short notice. I’m not sure how much sense the concept of bail even makes sense in a credit-based society. When someone has accumulated €10,000 in savings over the years, they will happily pay 9,000 in bail and make sure they get it back. We wouldn’t set bail at €100,000 for that fictitious person, and we wouldn’t set it at €100.

The bail bondsman is part of a broken system. “Helping you out” and “profiting from a broken system” are very close together, but when “not helping out” is not a moral option either, we can’t blame the bondsman.
In the end, the interest paid goes towards the bail bondsman’s income, and pays for the bounty hunter who catches the people who skip. That means, this particular law enforcement task ends up being paid for by everyone (every poor person?) who is accused of a crime.


#10

Yeah, America seems to be a strange blend of first world and third world sometimes.


#11

Mister 44:

“You are supposed to show up for your court date. If you don’t show up for your court date the bail bondsman stands to loose that bail money, so they find you, take you to the police, and get their money back.”

Loose and lose are two different words.


#12

You are technically correct. The best kind of correct!


#13

In the U.S.: Sheriffs or Marshals, collection agents, bounty hunters, collection agents.


#14

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