"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.”
Mr. Judelson is quick and glib, forceful yet charming, exhibiting equal parts moxie and suaveness. In a business that relies heavily on instinct — “I believe I have the vision to read people,” he said — his face effortlessly summons the assortment of required emotions: seduction, anger, contemplation.
He has offices in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, and employs one other licensed bondsman and a support staff of eight, plus freelancers who check titles and other documents. He signs off on all of the 1,000 to 2,000 bonds his company writes each year, most for unremarkable street criminals — thieves, drug pushers and the like — whose bails are $5,000 to $15,000."
-The New York Times