So you, a friend, relative or loved one has been arrested in Florida. Now what?
What Is Booking?
Booking refers to the procedure which formall enters all arrestee’s into the county jail system. There are several steps in this formal procedure that may take a few hours to complete, so it may help to familiarize yourself with the process.
Arrest and Arrival at Jail:
Once someone is arrested by a law enforcement officer, the arresting officer will transport them to the central booking. In Orlando, for example, it is commonly referred to as BRC or booking and release center. Once the arrestee arrives at the jail, the arresting officer will be completing his report which may take 1 to 2 hours.
Once the report is complete, the arrestee will be provided with a copy of the arrest affidavit, which narrates the events leading up to the person’s arrest. This document will be important to hold on to and provide to The Modarres Law Firm at your initial consultation. The jail will inventory the arrestee’s property, take a photograph (mugshot), and fingerprints. This process may be very quick, or may take a few hours depending how crowded the jail is.
Once fingerprints and photographs are completed, the fingerprints will be sent off to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to conduct a warrant check. This procedure is conducted to verify that the arrestee is in fact who they say they are and that they have no outstanding warrants in Florida systems and the National Crime Computer. This process may also take a few hours or be relatively quick if the jail is not crowded.
If the warrant checks do not return any warrants, the jail supervisor will authorize the arrestee’s release. If there are active warrants, your bondsman or the person posting your bond will be given the warrant information and additional bond amount. If there is an out of county warrant, this process can take a few hours.
Some arrestee’s may be released on their own recognizance (ROR). ROR is usually granted for arrestee’s who are accused of non-violent misdemeanors crimes with no prior record or criminal history.
If the arrestee is not ROR’ed, the issuance of a bond is the next step in the booking procedure. The amount of bond will be determined, which is either based on a bond schedule or set by a judge at first appearance. Not all charges are eligible for bond, such as serious violent crimes. If a bond is set and the arrestee is not able to bond out of jail, they will be held in the holding cell until bond is posted or the case is resolved.
Bond can be posted in one of two ways: (1) a cash bond or (2) a surety bond through a bondsman.
A cash bond is the total amount of the bond, in cash, paid and placed with the county to guarantee the arrestee will appear at all future court hearings. If the arrestee does not appear after posting a cash bond, the money will be forfeited. If the arrestee is acquitted in court or the case is dismissed, or at the conclusion of the trial proceedings, bond money will be refunded minus any fines and/or court costs.
Cash, cashier’s checks or money orders are the only accepted methods of payment for bail. Personal checks and credit cards may not accepted, depending on the county. For example, If a bond amount is set at $500 (i.e. first time DUI), a person can bond out of jail usually, by posting the $500 bond themselves. This is referred to as paying the face value of the bond.
A surety bond is paid through a bondsman who guarantees the arrestee’s appearance at any future court dates. It is advantageous for larger bond amounts because they are far cheaper. For example, if bond has been set at $1,000, the arrestee would only have to post 10% of that amount (or $100). The disadvantage is that the bond amount is usually not refunded or returned to the arrestee.
If one is held on no bond or are unable to afford bond, bond may be set at First Appearance by a judge or The Modarres Law Firm could file a Motion for the Court to set a reasonable bond. Visit our Bond Hearing Page for more information.
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