How the Booking Process Works

When someone is arrested and taken into custody, they will have to go through a “booking” process.  This is basically the compiling of information about the person under arrest in order to create a record. Even if posting bail, you would not be able to be released until officially going through the process. So what exactly happens when one has to go through the booking process? Well, here is an overview.

Getting Basic Information

This will be the time where they gather the suspect’s name, address, contact information and details about the crime. They will most likely be able to get most of the information from the citation but could still end up having questions.

Mug Shot

The famous mug shot. This is where the suspect will pose for a series of photos to keep with the record.

Collecting personal items

At this point, the suspect will be given a uniform and all their personal belongings will be taken and kept until release.

Fingerprints and DNA

During this step, the suspect will have all 10 fingers printed in case there are any prints as evidence on the scene. This information will also be placed in the suspect’s records. At this time they may also take a DNA sample as well.

Body Search

This is an extremely thorough exam what will require the removal of clothes and some rather invasive procedures. The point of the search is to make absolutely sure that no contraband items are hidden anywhere on the person before going to the jail cell.

Warrant Check

After the body search, officers will go through a database to see if the suspect has any other outstanding warrants.

Health Exam

This is an overall health check just to make sure the suspect is not in need of any immediate assistance had any issues that could be contracted by anyone else they come in contact with.


After the exam, comes the last step which is incarceration. At this point, the suspect will be placed in a secure cell until they appear for trial or a released from posting bail.

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