There are two parts to this answer.
1. Yes, they are probably just newbies who don't know better.
2. Lance Hawke was a freelance bounty hunter. He wasn't tied to one government, faction, or group. He had certain connections, and he was capable of getting privileges in a variety of locations through a number of different factions. It is possible to do, although of course they will have to be part of a faction at the time of the actual arrest. That does not, however, mean that they are tied to that one particular faction and unable to claim the label of "freelance".
____________"May the Grace of Ara go with you, and His Vengeance be wrought upon your enemies."
Only fools and children dream of heroes.