“Wanted posters” are outstanding tools used to develop information and to create leverage with the defendant’s family. The leverage comes from the embarrassment of having a family member see the defendant all over his own neighborhood and have to suffer the indignity of having “family business” exposed. They will call screaming or they will call with information just to get the posters taken down.
I typically only use them as a last resort because it takes a good deal of time putting them together, having them printed, posting and re-posting them, and screening the calls I invariably receive that are either hoaxes or are unrelated to the investigation.
As an aside, I often get information regarding other fugitives that are (and are not) out on bail. The ones that are, I follow up with the bondsman and may make a new client. I will call CrimeStoppers or my local Fugitive Task Force contact on those that are not bond secured and barter with this favor later.
PLASTER wanted posters around any and all neighborhoods that the defendant may be associated. Include his charges and offer a reward for information. Make sure his family and girlfriend see them. Additionally, try to get them posted at the local area convenience stores. The embarrassment will be unbearable.
“Wanted Posters amount to Slander.”
Respectfully, this is incorrect. Slander involves (a) making patently false statements, (b) knowing that they are untrue, and (c) likely to cause damage to someone’s reputation. To put on a “wanted poster” that someone is being sought on a Child Molestation warrant is not saying that he is a child molester; rather it is a statement of a true fact. He has a warrant, there are specific charges, and that can be proven.
Conversely, if someone were to post a flyer around town with the defendant’s picture and a headline “This man is a Child Molester!” and did not have sufficient evidence to support such a claim, they could be sued for defamation of character, but it would be “Libel” because it is in writing. Slander is spoken, Libel is in writing, and both cause defamation.
Either way it is, in my opinion of course, not applicable for the reasons I first mentioned. This is why CrimeStoppers, America’s Most Wanted or your local news media can air and advertise the fact that someone is being sought for questioning or is wanted by Law Enforcement and not be held liable in court. These are in fact super-glorified “Wanted Posters” on video aren’t they? Wanted posters get results!
This is an excerpt of the online course Apprehending Bail Fugitives offered at http://beabountyhunter.com/main/online-course. This course is designed to first teach and develop basic operating techniques and methods to easily locate and arrest bail-secured fugitives and then to build upon that foundation by sharing the most important secrets of our industry with you in a manner that cuts out years of the old learning process.
Please note, neither the author or this publication is an attorney nor are they offering legal advice in this article. Please consult your own attorney or legal counsel, should you have questions regarding civil or criminal legal questions and matters.