HomeNewsGabby Petito: Is Dog the Bounty Hunter Legally Allowed to Pursue Brian Laundrie?

Gabby Petito: Is Dog the Bounty Hunter Legally Allowed to Pursue Brian Laundrie?

by Clayton Edwards
(Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images)

It seems that everyone wants to know where Brian Laundrie is hiding. The North Port, Florida Police as well as the FBI are hunting for him. At the same time, many citizens are keeping their eyes peeled for the fugitive. However, that isn’t all. Some of TV’s biggest names are also willing to lend a hand in the hunt for Gabby Petito’s potential killer. John Walsh vowed to use his show to turn up the heat on the search. Additionally, Dog the Bounty Hunter says he’s on the trail.

However, Dog the Bounty Hunter isn’t just using his fame to cast a light on the hunt. Instead, he is out there in the thick of it. In fact, he visited the Laundrie home on Saturday (9/25) to get some information about the fugitive. Initially, he has been weighing in with his theories and tips on what law enforcement should be doing. This led many to wonder if what Dog is doing is actually legal.

According to a Florida-based ABC affiliate, the short answer is, unfortunately, no. Dog the Bounty Hunter is not licensed to hunt for fugitives in Florida. However, that’s only the beginning.

Florida Has Strict Laws Regarding Bounty Hunters

First off, according to the news outlet calling yourself a bounty hunter in Florida is illegal. In the Sunshine State, they’re bail agents. Dog the Bail Agent just doesn’t have the same ring to it as Dog the Bounty Hunter. However, there’s more to it than the name.

Becoming a bail agent in Florida is a long process. First, you have to be an adult resident of the state. Additionally, bail agents must have at least a high school diploma and a clean record. Anyone convicted of a felony or crime that carries a penalty of more than one year in jail is disqualified. Then, there are the tests.

Even if Dog the Bounty Hunter met the above requirements, he’d have to take a couple of tests. First, there’s the bail bond licensing exam. After passing that, Dog would have to take the bond agent exam and provide character references.

Even licensed bail agents are only allowed to hunt fugitives who jumped bail from the bondsman for which the agent works. Out-of-state agents can only come to Florida to hunt for fugitives who jumped bail in another state. Even then, the agent still has to work for the agency that wrote the initial bond.

Dog the Bounty Hunter is looking at a class three felony for conducting an unlicensed manhunt if he continues.

Why Dog the Bounty Hunter Can’t Legally Hunt for Brian Laundrie

First and foremost, Dog the Bounty Hunter isn’t a Florida resident. Additionally, Dog is a convicted felon. He caught a first-degree murder charge back in the seventies. He didn’t kill anyone but was waiting in the car while his friend conducted a drug deal that led to his murder. The man who pulled the trigger and Dog were both convicted.

Additionally, Brian Laundrie isn’t out on bail. So, even if Dog the Bounty Hunter was a licensed bail agent in Florida, he couldn’t legally conduct his own manhunt for the fugitive. Someone should probably put Dog on a leash before he ends up in the pound.