The Booking Process


After a DUI arrest, suspects are taken down to the station or local jail, where the police process and put them in police custody. This formal process is called booking.

During the booking process, the police create a record of the alleged DUI, field sobriety tests and breath test results, as well as the suspect's name, date of birth and physical characteristics. Any distinguishing features such as tattoos or scars are also noted and mug shots are taken.

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While booking a suspect, the police also take fingerprints of the suspect and perform a search of the person's criminal history. A search of the suspect is conducted and any personal property is confiscated. This property will usually be returned to the person when he or she are released, unless it is held as evidence.

After the booking procedure is complete, the suspect is either placed in a holding cell at the police station or released on a recognizance bond.

Posting Bond after Arrest

Unless a criminal suspect is accused of a very serious crime or is a flight risk, he or she can usually be released while awaiting the resolution of the DUI case by posting bail.

Bail is cash, or a cash equivalent, that a criminal suspect gives the court as an assurance that he or she will return to court for the DUI trial. When the suspect returns to court as ordered to do so, the court returns the bail money. If the suspect fails to appear in court, the bail money is forfeited.

At most jails, a standard bail schedule is established so suspects can post bail and be released quickly when accused of common crimes. For more serious or unusual crimes, criminal suspects must wait in jail until a hearing can be set for a judge to set the amount of bail. DUI is a common offense that appears on most bail schedules.

Under the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, bail cannot be excessive. It is not a punishment for the accused crime and cannot be set higher than is reasonably necessary to prevent a suspect from fleeing before the trial.

The above summary is for informational purposes only, is not legal advice, and is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney in your state.

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