What Happens When You Get Booked?

booking defendant bail

The arresting officer must book a defendant immediately for custody. Before the defendant secures freedom by posting a bail bond, the jail officers will require your identification details so that they can record your name, birthdate, and any other relevant information including your location details. After booking, the following is what you should expect:

  1. Fingerprint taking
  2. Pat searches
  3. Magistrate duties
  4. Health care examination
  5. Holding cells and arraignment

 Taking fingerprints

The police will immediately take your fingerprints after the arrest so that they can check your criminal record. A mug shot is also taken for their official records, and they may use the fingerprints and your other identification details to check any other relevant information about you.

bail bond defendant booking

Search for firearms and illegal stuff

As you wait for bail to be granted, you will be put in a holding cell. But the police will search you to make sure that you do not enter the holding cell with drugs, firearms, or anything illegal. In case you have a phone, jewelry, and other valuables, the police will take them but, on your release, they will hand them over to you.

Medical examination

A medical checkup for the defendant is important before they go to the holding cells. In case of any medical care needs, the defendant is given medical care before going to the cell.

Warrant of arrest and bail bond process

The next step is for the magistrate to perform their duties which include, reviewing the complaints regarding the defendant, and issuing a warrant of arrest. They also will set a bond amount, and negotiate for the same with the defendant’s attorney.


Most defendants will secure bail through a licensed bail bondsman. But for those who fail to post bail, they will be put into holding cells as they wait for arraignment, which takes place during weekdays. It should take place within 24 hours so that the judge can charge the defendants.


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