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Do bondsman have to Mirandize when arresting?

The Miranda Warning states: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.” With a few exceptions, when a person is arrested by a police officer the officer must read the Miranda Warning to the person being arrested or the prosecutor cannot use anything the arrested person says as evidence at trial. However, when a bail bondsman detains a person, not only does the bail bondsman not have to Mirandize the person being detained, it is not allowed. This is because a bail bondsman is not a peace officer like a policeman is. The type of arrest a bail bondsman performs is called a citizen’s arrest. A citizen’s arrest is the act of one private citizen temporarily detaining another private citizen because the detained private citizen is accused of having committed a crime or was seen committing a crime. In this context, a bail bondsman can apprehend a person who is accused of having committed a crime with handcuffs, transport that person to jail, and release the person back into the local jail’s custody. While there is a widely believed misconception that only police can arrest and handcuff people, it is not true.  Bob Burton, a bounty hunter, states that “When the defendant signs the bail bond contract, they do something very important. They waive their constitutional rights…They agree that they can be arrested by the bail bond agent. And they waive extradition, allowing bondsmen to take them to any state.” This means that in most states the authority of bounty hunters and bail bondsmen to arrest actually exceeds that of the police as long as they have what is known of as the bail piece, which is the paperwork indicating that the detained person is a fugitive.

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