Mr. Judelson, like most bail bondsmen in New York, is essentially an insurance agent. When a judge sets bail, a defendant who does not have enough cash to cover it can instead pay a bondsman 6 to 10 percent of the bail, plus some auxiliary fees. Usually, the bondsman will require collateral — 40 percent of the bail in cash, perhaps, or property worth at least as much as the whole amount — and sometimes is granted the right to garnish the wages of a relative or friend. In turn, the bondsman submits a contract to the court agreeing to pay the bail if the defendant fails to show up. Those contracts are typically backed by insurance companies that can provide quick access to capital.“A lawyer can’t get you out of jail; only a bondsman can get you out,” said Mr. Judelson, 44, who credits years of strategic schmoozing of high-priced lawyers with helping him snag many of the city’s celebrity defendants. “I don’t rule the courthouse. I don’t make the rules in the courthouse. But to help get the defendant out of incarceration, I do hold some sort of strength.”
* Cash (Determined on Bail Amount) * Property (Deed to Home, Title Search and Appraisal) * Business (Business Certificate, Financial Statement and Current Bank Statement) * CD Account(s) * Pass Book Savings * Other forms may be discussed with BondsmanThe Following is Necessary: * State ID with Picture * Proof of Employment, 2 Recent Pay Stubs or Current Tax Returns * Proof of Residence, Phone Bill, Gas/Electric Bill etc.NYS Bondsman by law, may not accept the following: * Supplemental Security Income (SSI) * Public Assistance (Welfare) * Alimony or Child Support * Unemployment Benefits * Disability Benefits * Workers Compensation Benefits * Public or Private Pensions * Veterans Benefits
Mr. Judelson asked the court officers — some of whom he plays basketball with — to hold Mr. Burress in the back rather than place him in the queue for Rikers Island. He then discussed collateral with Mr. Burress’s wife, Tiffany, and got Mr. Burress’s agent to fax a deed, mortgage statement and assessment for the couple’s home. Once the paperwork was signed, Mr. Judelson assured the judge that he was comfortable taking on the risk of the bond, and by afternoon Mr. Burress was free.