What to Expect at Booking

What to Expect at Booking

Booking is the formal procedure by which the arrestee is entered into the system at the county jail. After arrest, the arresting officer transports the accused to central booking, where the arrestee is searched, photographed, fingerprinted, provided a copy of the Arrest Affidavit, and placed into a holding cell. At any point in booking, an uncooperative arrestee may be placed in a restraining chair, used to calm the person down, and keep the individual from hurting him or herself or others. Once the initial booking process is complete, authorities will grant the arrestee the opportunity to make a phone call.

If the arrestee has alleged or apparent health issues or is severely inebriated, medical personnel will conduct a health exam upon the arrestee’s arrival at the jail. The exam will help determine whether authorities should skip the booking process and head straight to the hospital, or speed up the booking process so that the arrestee can be transported to the hospital after booking.

Some county jails expedite the booking process and release suspects on their own recognizance (ROR) if the jail population is too high. ROR usually occurs for non-violent misdemeanors charges when a person has no prior record of violence.

The issuance of a bond also occurs at booking. The county jail personnel will determine the initial bond amount, which is based on the jail’s internal criteria. Not all charges are eligible to be given a bond and some charges require the court to order a bond amount. If the arrestee is unable to bond out, he or she will be placed in a cell or pod with other inmates until he or she is able to bond out or the case is resolved.

The arrestee can be bonded out in one of two ways: (1) a cash bond for the face value of the bond or (2) a surety bond paid through a bondsman. The advantage of paying the face value of the cash bond is that the money is later returned to the person posting the bond. Courts have recently started applying the cash bond to cover the court costs. The advantage of using a surety bond is that it is much cheaper and only requires a small percentage of the bond to be paid in advance. The money paid for a surety bond is not refunded.

If the accused is held on no bond or are unable to afford bond, he or she must go before the Judge at First Appearance Court or file a motion for the Court to set a reasonable bond.

If you have questions about your arrest or have criminal charges pending, do not hesitate to contact St. Petersburg criminal defense lawyers at Rooth Law Group today for a free consultation.

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