A surety hearing, basically, is when a person is accused of obtaining his money from illegal means. It started, originally, for people that were allegedly engaged in the drug trade, but sometimes the district attorneys office tries to demand a surety hearing for people involved in credit card scams, counterfeit money scams, and other areas of law. But it’s when they demand to know the source of the money.
Typically speaking, what happens is, if the person owes a 50,000 dollar bail, and they want to pay 10 percent, they can just bring the 5,000 dollar bail plus the premiums, or they can just pay the entire bail and they can get out. But if the court has moved to issue what’s called a surety hearing in which the person is asked to show the source of the money. Where did this person get the money? That’s the questions asked.
Often times, clients wants to know how to get their loved ones out of bail. The first step I take is I thoroughly interview and vet the client in tandem wit the bail bondsman, and if I determine from my experience that it’s something that should be accepted in the district attorneys office, I will try to contact the office and ask for them to not go through with the hearing.
Obviously, because people are so anxious to get released, if the district attorneys office tries to play games, we just go ahead and put the money up and prepare to go to the hearing. But I can tell you that I move quickly on my surety cases, and the vast majority of cases I’ve had never go through to the hearing, because i know what the district attorneys office wants to see in terms of the bail source and I know how to pitch it to them.
If you are involved in a surety hearing, or a similar type of legal situation, contact New York Criminal Defense Attorney Paul Petrus.