Booking Law & Legal Definition


In criminal law, booking refers to the process by which the police department registers and enters charges against a person believed to have violated the law. The process of booking typically includes; recording of the inmate’s personal information and description, photograph (also known as mug shot), fingerprinting, and a Department of Justice records check. Additionally, personal property and money is taken from the inmate. Inmates may also be asked a series of medical questions to evaluate their physical and mental health. The jailer conducting the booking may provide the inmate with a list of facility rules and items available to the inmate. After the booking process has been completed, the booking staff will inform the arrestee what he or she has been charged with and the amount of bail required to be released. This amount may be listed as either cash only or bondable. Any holds may also be disclosed. The arrestee will have an opportunity to make a collect phone call to try to make bail. Procedures vary by local area.