State v. McGee, 234 N.C. App. 285 (Jun. 3, 2014)

(1) In an involuntary manslaughter case where a death occurred during a high speed chase by a bail bondsman in his efforts to arrest a principal, the trial court did not err by instructing the jury that bail bondsmen cannot violate motor vehicle laws in order to make an arrest. While the statute contains specific exemptions to the motor vehicle laws pertaining to speed for police, fire, and emergency service vehicles, no provision exempts a bail bondsman from complying with speed limits when pursuing a principal. (2) The trial court did not err by failing to submit to the jury the question whether the defendant’s means in apprehending his principal were reasonable. Under the law the defendant bail bondsman was not authorized to operate his motor vehicle at a speed greater than was reasonable and prudent under the existing conditions because of his status as a bail bondsman. It concluded:

Just as the bail bondsmen cannot enter the homes of third parties without their consent, a bail bondsmen pursuing a principal upon the highways of this State cannot engage in conduct that endangers the lives or property of third parties. Third parties have a right to expect that others using the public roads, including bail bondsmen, will follow the laws set forth in Chapter 20 of our General Statutes.