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You know that when an officer arrests you, they will place you in handcuffs and take you to jail. You might also know that you can post bail and be released from jail after an arrest. However, what happens between your arrest and your release is a less commonly understood chain of events known as the booking process.

If you have never been handcuffed by police, you might wonder what happens after you get arrested. While it is best never to experience the booking process after arrest, knowing what to expect can make the experience less intimidating if you or a loved one ever find yourself in that situation. 

The Booking Begins with a Pat-Down and Information Gathering

When you are booked into jail, the County Sheriff will begin by patting you down for weapons or any contraband you might have brought with you into jail. Then jail staff will gather information about you, including your name, address, and any medical conditions you might have.

During this part of the booking process, you should be honest with the jail staff. Attempting to conceal your identity could result in additional criminal charges. Moreover, failing to disclose your medical needs or the medications you take can place your health at risk if you cannot immediately bond out of jail.

Your Personal Property Is Inventoried and Stored

Any personal property you bring with you, including your clothing, will be taken from you and secured. Staff will conduct an inventory of your property so that you and the jail know what property you had when you entered the facility. 

If you have any money, this will be applied to your account at the jail. You are not permitted to have loose cash or change on you while you are an inmate.

Your property will be kept secure until you leave the jail. At that time, any personal property you entered the jail with will be returned to you unless it is being held as evidence in your case. You also can release personal property to family or friends, provided you sign an authorization. 

If you have received a call from a loved one who is in the booking process, they may want to release their property to you or someone else.

You Are Given a Wristband

Part of the booking process after arrest involves giving you a wristband. You must always wear this wristband while you are an inmate at the jail, as it helps identify and distinguish you from other inmates. 

Jail staff uses these wristbands to help prevent someone from being released when they should not be. You will have the wristband removed once you leave the jail or bond out of custody.

Your Fingerprints and Photograph Will Be Taken

Last, during the booking process, jail staff will take your photograph and fingerprints. Doing these two steps helps ensure that your arrest is associated with you and that your criminal record is not mixed up with someone else. No matter how often you have been arrested, the jail will take your photo and ask for your fingerprints.

Your Free Phone Call

You can make a free phone call once the booking process is completed but before you are placed in your cell. The call must be to a local number, but you can call a friend, family member, employer, attorney, or other similar person. All other phone calls after this will be collected calls.

Contact the Law Office of Mo Abusaft as Soon as Possible

Knowing what happens after you get arrested, remember that you can contact an attorney after the booking process is finished. Use this time to call the Law Office of Mo Abusaft in Spartanburg, SC. We are a criminal defense law firm that can provide effective and competent representation to you throughout the pendency of your case.