Many people understand that they can be arrested for criminal activity, but they don’t really know what happens after the initial stop by the police. To help you better understand wat happens next after an arrest for theft or another kind of charge, you need to understand what booking is and why the police use it.
The police booking procedure is designed to do a few things. It:
- Takes a person into custody.
- Gets your personal identifying information.
- Gives police the time to record information about the alleged criminal act.
- Gives the police an opportunity to run your fingerprints, look into your criminal background, search you and confiscate your property.
- Creates time to take photos for booking.
- Results in you being placed in a holding cell or jail cell.
Each part of this process is standardized to help the police get as much information about you as possible. You need to understand what they can ask for, so you don’t say or do something that puts you at risk.
Remember, the police only need your personal information
During booking, it’s a good idea only to provide necessary information. That means giving the police your name and contact information, for example, and staying quiet about the rest of the circumstances leading up to the arrest.
After the police get this information, you will likely have your picture (also known as a mug shot) taken, so the police have a record of your height, weight and appearance.
Can I keep any of my property after the arrest?
You’ll usually keep your own clothing if you’re in a holding cell, but if you go to jail, the police will provide you with a uniform. If evidence is found on you, it will be kept even if you are released, but the rest of your items will be returned to you when you leave the station or jail.
What should you do if you’re being held and think the charges are unreasonable?
You have a right to seek legal support in the case that you’re being held by the police. After an arrest, it’s reasonable to ask to speak with an attorney, so you can begin building your defense right away.