Bail Bonds and Source Hearings in Tennessee

The first and primary goal of someone arrested on a criminal charge is to get out of jail. Under the Tennessee Constitution, anyone charged with a criminal offense, except in capitol offenses where the death penalty can be imposed, is entitled to have a bail bond set. One must post a bail bond to get out of jail. Years ago, a proposal was made by the Nashville, Davidson County District Attorney's office to set up a road block to getting out of jail using a bail bond. Tennessee Code Annotated 39-17-715 was enacted to give the Courts power to conduct hearings to determine the actual source of the funds used to make a bail bond. Called source hearings, they initially targeted those charged with drug crimes. The theory was to preclude getting out of jail using the proceeds from illegal drug sales. The Courts adopted the proposal which was later applied to all criminal cases.

All bail bonds in the amount $75,000 or more require a source hearing. A source hearing is simply a forum to prove to the court or district attorney where the money will come from to pay for the bond. Here is the procedure:

  1. A written motion setting out the details of who, what, when and how the bail bond is going to be paid is filed by a criminal defense attorney.
  2. The criminal defense attorney may also approach the assistant district attorney with the details, but a written motion is stronger and more effective.
  3. Documentation, such as bank statements and credit card statements, must be presented at the source hearing. Loans are somewhat problematic because questions regarding who is responsible for repayment, his or her job history and relationship to the accused must be answered. A legal and binding signed affidavit may be required.

Because of the urgency to post bond and get your friend or family member out of jail„ a seasoned criminal defense attorney with extensive experience orchestrating and setting a source hearing should he retained.

Contact our office immediately for help getting 4 source hearing set and handling the case from start to finish.

Call our office at 615-259-9009 during regular business hours, or leave a message: www.mckinnevlawfirm.com after regular business hours.

WARNING: Because law enforcement personnel may be monitoring phone calls, do not discuss anything regarding the case on the phone while your family member or friend is in jail.