What the booking process is like

We have all seen the booking process played out in film and tv but what is
it really like and is it as intimidating as the media makes it out to be? While
the booking process is not nearly as dramatic as most portrayals show it to be,
it can still be an intimidating process if you have never been through it
before. Here is what to expect.

Information Collection


The first step after being apprehended is law enforcement
collecting basic information on the defendant such as name, address, what
charges are pending, and if there is any other previous criminal history. This
is to add to a record if one already exists or to create one if this is a first-time

Mug shots


Next are the mug shots. This is to add photographs to
current records that can be used to help with other cases at times and gives
identifying information to the records.

Confiscation of belongings


After all the proper information and pictures have been taken, law
enforcement will then collect any belongings the t defendant had on them during
the time of the arrest. This is whatever outfit they were wearing as well as
any valuables such as phones, cash, credit cards as well as anything that could
be considered dangerous while detained. This is for the safety of both the defendant
as well as the rest of the detained population so theft or injury is less likely
to occur. These belonging, minus anything that could be used as evidence will
be returned upon release.


Another important aspect of a person’s record is their fingerprints. Police
will collect fingerprints to attach to someone’s record as a way to have
uneditable identifying information that may help in other investigations down
the road.

Body Search

After collecting fingerprints, probably the least favorite part of the
booking process will occur which is the body search. A full body exam will be
held in a private room by a same-sex officer who will do a visual search and
possibly a cavity search to ensure that there are no contraband materials that
are being smuggled into the premises.

Wellness check

Before being placed in detention, a thorough medical check must be done to
report on any type of contagious diseases or mental health issues that could put
the defendant or anybody else in danger. This type of exam will feel similar to
a normal wellness exam you get done at a doctor’s office.


The final step that must take place is the defendant going into detention
where they will be held until their bond hearing.

While there are quite a few steps that go into the booking process, they
tend to go quickly and it can absolutely be understood that there may be
anxiety or embarrassment over some stages, please rest assured that the officers
do this on a regular basis and should act in a non-judgmental way.

Overall, although there are many steps, the booking process tends to go
rather quickly and while there may be parts that feel embarrassing or
stressful, it’s important to understand that all parts of the process are done
to ensure safety and should be done in a professional, nonjudging manner.