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I want to Speak to my Lawyer: What to Do If You're Being Booked

After getting arrested, suspects in custody are taken to the county jail for booking. The booking procedure is generally as streamlined as possible to get suspects processed quickly. Depending upon the size and resources of the jail, bookings can take anywhere from one to six hours. During this time you will be fingerprinted, searched and processed.

The Booking Process Takes Time

The booking process can take up to six hours in some jurisdictions. The time it takes to get booked will depend largely on the size of the facility and how busy it is. Some small jurisdictions can have suspects booked and into custody in under an hour. Densely populated cities with heavy crime problems will have the longest processing times. It is important to remain patient throughout this whole ordeal.

Do Not Talk to Anybody

Do not talk to anybody else who is getting booked while you are. Some repeat offenders will use information they learn against chatty suspects. If somebody is being friendly and attempting to make small talk, try to remain silent. Any information you tell somebody can be used against you. Some unscrupulous criminals will trade information for plea bargain deals.

It is Okay to Give a Booking Officer Personal Information

At some point during the process, a booking officer will need to get your personal information. This is a time when it is okay to talk to the authorities. This booking officer should not be asking any questions pertaining to the case. For processing purposes you may be asked your name, address, social security number and other personal identification information. The booking officer will get all of your information into the system.

Be Respectful

It is important to remain respectful throughout the booking process. Most correctional officers are very kind when treated with respect. It is a scary process, but it is imperative to remain calm and collected.

Use Your Phone Call for a Lawyer

Usually toward the end of the booking process you will be offered one phone call. This is the time to call your attorney. Sometimes reaching a family member or friend is also a good idea. Having somebody that can coordinate lawyer visits for you can really help out. Letting somebody know where you are also gets the ball rolling on a possible bail bond situation.

Speaking Freely with Your Lawyer

The only time you should be speaking freely about your case is when you are in a confidential meeting with your lawyer. Lawyers will instruct their clients on how to best handle upcoming legal processes. Once your lawyer has all of the pertinent case details, he or she can begin working on your behalf.

Peter Wendt is a freelance writer from Austin, Texas, who has always had an interest in criminal proceedings.  If you ever find yourself in trouble, Peter highly recommends consulting these brilliant criminal defense attorneys about your case.

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