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Bondsman's Authority to Arrest

A bondsman has the right and authority to take the defendant into custody for the purpose of exonerating the surety’s liability on the bail bond. This authority is founded upon common law, contract and statute.

The common law basis for the surety’s authority is enunciated by the United States Supreme Court in Taylor v. Taintor:

"When bail is given, the principal is regarded as delivered to the custody of his sureties. Their dominion is a continuance of the original imprisonment. Whenever they choose to do so, they may seize him and deliver him up in their discharge; and if that cannot be done at once, they may imprison him until it can be done. They may exercise their rights in person or by retailer. They may pursue him into another State; may arrest him on the Sabbath; and, if necessary, may break and enter his house for that purpose. The seizure is not made by virtue of new process. None is needed. It is likened to the rearrests by the sheriff of an escaping prisoner."

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