Dog the Bounty Hunter May Face Serious Charges If He Tries Apprehending Brian Laundrie Against His Will

by Kati Michelle
(Photo by Spencer Weiner/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

More bad news for Dog the Bounty Hunter surrounding his involvement with the Gabby Petito case. He’s been operating his own personal investigation and search for Brian Laundrie despite its potentially hazardous legal repercussions. To recap, the reality star is not actually licensed to hunt for fugitives in Florida. Moreover, using the term “bounty hunter” there actually breaks laws in and of itself. The legally cleared professional term is actually a “bail agent.”

What’s more is the fact that procuring the title actually involves a hefty testing and licensing process. So, Dog’s resume may contain thousands of captures, but his lack of credentials may lead to his downfall. Actually, experts now say that his hypothetical apprehension of Brian Laundrie puts him at risk for kidnapping charges.

What the Continued Pursuit of Brian Laundrie Could Mean for Dog the Bounty Hunter

Mike Harrison is the Vice President of the Florida Bail Bondsmen Association. He talked to Daily Mail reporters about the consequences that Dog the Bounty Hunter could potentially face in trying to capture Brian Laundrie. If the two ever actually came head to head and Dog tried to prevent Laundrie’s movements, Harrison says it’s enough for “kidnapping or false imprisonment” charges.

With a conviction already on his record, Dog might want to rethink this path. His prior connections to a murder continue to affect his right to bear arms and issue bail bonds. He also finds himself barred from certain countries like the United Kingdom.

As we’ve seen, this whole investigation is ripe with confusing territory. The involvement of Brian’s father into the FBI’s search, for example, continues to raise eyebrows. Moreover, Brian Laundrie’s classification as a “person of interest” versus a “suspect” also sustains confusion. The thing is, it probably boils down to more legalities. Authorities really only have limited opportunity to nab and charge him and want to do it right. Harrison says that he and the rest of the bail community think Dog stands in the way of the investigation’s integrity.

Breaking Down the Citizen’s Arrest

Speaking of legalities, some may bring up the concept of a “citizen’s arrest.” The problem with this lies in the fact that an arrest can only be made if you witness a crime committed in front of your very eyes. Due to Dog’s lack of credentials, the public is essentially just as qualified (or not) as him to perform this.

In terms of Brian Laundrie’s apprehension, things here remain murky. Though his official title falls under “Person of Interest,” the federal warrant out for his arrest potentially changed things. It brought in the possibility of a new classification as a “fugitive of justice.”

Now, technically, classification as a “fugitive of justice” is a crime. This leaves room for the legal possibility of a citizen’s arrest. However, it ultimately depends what state (or even country) Brian finds himself in. If a citizen, like Dog, attempts to perform a citizen’s arrest, but Brian is cleared of “fugitive of justice” status at that place and time, then that leaves room for the charges above. As it stands then, officials have not used this term to describe Brian and you cannot hold a non-criminal person against their will in any shape or form.