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Booking Process Lawyer in Camden, New Jersey

NJ Criminal Attorney Helps Clients with the Booking Process in Camden County, Burlington County & Gloucester County

During an arrest, emotions run high. Often, people are unsure of what will happen next. The reality is that people generally are unaware of what happens during the booking process — until they have gone through it themselves. However, even if you have never been arrested and have never broken the law before, it can come in handy to be aware of the steps, as well as your rights, before ever facing a criminal charge.

Booking Process Steps in New Jersey

As most things go in life, there is a set protocol for what happens following an arrest. Those who are under arrest can expect the following steps. If any steps are skipped, you should contact a Camden criminal lawyer immediately. During the entire process, it is your right not to speak until after the booking is finished and you have been given, or have contacted, your own lawyer.

Step 1: Recording the suspect’s name and their alleged crime.

Step 2: Taking a mug shot. The mug shot is important, as it can be used to determine exactly who has been arrested, serve as proof if someone else’s name is given during arrest, or establish a suspect’s physical condition at the time of arrest for an array of reasons, including police brutality claims.

Step 3: Processing the suspect’s clothing and personal property. Unsurprisingly, suspects are not allowed to take their personal items with them while being held. All articles must be returned upon release, unless they are evidence of a crime.

Step 4: Fingerprinting. This is a standard part of booking. Fingerprints are usually entered into a nationwide database.

Step 5: Full body search. While there is usually a pat-down inspection at the time of arrest, there is a much more in-depth strip search to prevent weapons or drugs from entering the holding area. Even those being held for a simple traffic violation may be subject to search to ensure the safety of police officers and other detainees.

Step 6: Looking for other warrants. It is typical protocol for an officer to ensure that the arrestee is not wanted for other charges at the time of arrest. Those with pending warrants are not often granted bail. The arrestee has the right to remain silent on all charges, including outstanding warrants. If you are about to be questioned, be sure to know your rights and seek legal counsel immediately.

Step 7: Health screening. This may not occur if you are being held until you post bail. However, to protect the health and safety of jail officials and other inmates, those undergoing the booking process may be subject to X-rays and blood tests.

Step 8: Eliciting information relevant to incarceration conditions. This can include information on gang affiliations and other outside relationships that may affect the likelihood of violence or injury. For some, protective custody may be necessary. The questioning in this scenario does not count as an interrogation, meaning that the officers are not required to read the arrestee a Miranda warning. However, information shared during this questioning is admissible in court as evidence, as it falls under the “routine booking question exception” to Miranda. Keep this in mind if you are arrested.

Step 9: DNA sample. Depending on your circumstances, you may be required to provide a DNA sample. In 2013, the Supreme Court ruled under the Fourth Amendment that police officers are constitutionally allowed to ask those in the booking process for a DNA sample for the nationwide database.

Deptford, NJ Criminal Lawyers at the Law Offices of Michele Finizio Understand the Booking Process and Know How It Can Affect the Outcome of a Criminal Trial

If you have never been arrested before, you may not know your rights and you may feel overwhelmed at what is soon to come. Finding the right Camden criminal lawyer can mean the difference between a speedy release and a long sentence. At the Law Offices of Michele Finizio, we have defended those accused of murder charges, drug offenses, shoplifting, assault, and other serious crimes in Cherry Hill, Gloucester Township, Evesham, Mount Laurel, Pemberton, and West Deptford, NJ.

Contact us online or call 856-242-7300 today to ensure that your rights are protected. You can discuss your case over the phone, or you can schedule a free consultation at our Moorestown office.

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I could not have asked for a better attorney. Michele Finizio treated my cases and the cases of those I've recommended, as if we were part of her family.

-D.A.