We've all seen it on TV. Someone is pulled over for suspected drunk driving, arrested, handcuffed, then taken to jail and booked. But what exactly happens during the booking process.
The Booking Process
Generally, when a suspect is booked for a California drunk driving offense, a few processes take place:
- The incident is recorded: Specific details about the alleged crime is gathered and recorded.
- Personal information is gathered: The suspect's personal information is collected including but not limited to the person's name, date of birth, and physical characteristics.
- Personal effects are cataloged: The suspect is searched for weapons, photographs are taken and personal effects like credit cards, cell phones and money are confiscated.
- Fingerprints are acquired: The suspect is fingerprinted.
- Criminal background check is conducted: A criminal background check of the suspect in custody is also performed.
- Suspect is placed in holding cell: After the requisite processes and procedures are conducted, the suspect is led to a jail or holding cell.
A suspect, however, will usually be able to get out of jail and obtain what's known as "pre-arraignment release." This is done either through bail or "own recognizance" release.
Release Via Bail
Getting of jail via bail means a suspect pays money to be released generally on the condition that he or she agrees to appear for all future court appearances that relate to the alleged crime. If the suspect doesn't have enough money to pay the full bail amount, he or she may be able to get a "bond" through a bondsman or bond agency.
In a bond agreement, the bondsman or agency pledges to pay the full amount of bail for the suspect in exchange for a fee or posting of collateral.
Not all suspects, however, will be offered bail during the booking process. In some instances, a judge will decide whether a suspect can be released on bail and how much. This usually happens at a future date.
Release Via Own Recognizance
Sometimes, bail can be avoided altogether because the suspect is allowed to be released on his or her "own recognizance." This simply means the suspect promises to appear for his or her future court appearances. Also known as O.R., the law however limits when this method of release can be used.
It's important to note that procedures and processes can vary among California police stations and courts. Speaking with an experienced California DUI attorney as soon as possible is advised.
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