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What is Booking?

Booking, in the context of Florida criminal procedure, refers to the formal process of entering an individual who has been arrested into the jailing system.

During booking, an individual's personal belongings, including any illegal contraband, are taken and collected for inventory. An officer will take an arrestee's fingerprints and mugshots. Then the arrestee's photos and fingerprints will be sent to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) for any outstanding warrants in the Florida system or National Crime Computer system.

Attorney for Booking Proceedings in Gainesville, FL

One of the most common questions asked is, "what happens after being arrested." Many people do not know how long they have to wait before formal charges are filed, what kind of questions are illegal under Miranda warnings etc…. These are all questions that an experienced criminal defense attorney can answer.

At Galigani Law Firm we represent criminal defendants during all stages of the Florida criminal process, from first appearances to trial. We represent clients in Starke, Lake Butler, Palatka, Oscala, Bronson, Trenton, or Lake City, FL.

If you or someone you know has just been arrested in Bradford County, Union County, Putnam County, Gilchrist County, Levy County, Columbia County, or Marion County, Florida, contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys of Galigani Law Firm.

With offices located at , you can contact our office at any time to conduct a consultation.

Call (352) 375-0812 for more information on how one of our attorneys can help you.


Alachua County Booking Proceedings Information Center


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Florida Booking Process

The booking process in Alachua County, while different from other jurisdictions, is essentially set by the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure. Thus, booking officers have set duties when it comes to arresting individuals and entering them into the Florida criminal justice system.

According to Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.111(c) that it is in the required duties of a booking officer to do the following:

  • Immediately advise the defendant of the following:
    • the right to counsel;
    • that, if the defendant is unable to pay for a lawyer, one will be provided immediately at no charge;
  • if the defendant requests counsel or advises the officer that he or she cannot afford counsel, the officer shall immediately and effectively place the defendant in communication with the office of the public defender of the circuit in which the arrest was made;
  • if the defendant has an attorney or will retain one, the officer must immediately and effectively place the defendant in communication with that attorney or the Lawyer Referral Service of the local bar association.

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How Long Can I Be Held After Arrest

Once an individual has been fully booked, he or she, depending on the reasons for arrest, may have an opportunity to post bail. Generally, an individual may be released on what is called, their "own recognizance (ROR)." Being released on ROR is usually only allowed for arrestees who were accused of non-violent misdemeanors.

If the individual is not released on his or her own recognizance, then he or she is generally only held for up to twenty-four (24) hours before the first appearance.


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First Appearance

Under Florida Criminal Procedure, every arrested person must be taken before a judicial officer within twenty-four (24) hours of arrest. In Alachua County, the first appearance proceeding is held via closed circuit television with the defendants remaining in the jail.

The purpose of the first appearance is to take care of arraignments, adversary hearings, and other criminal matters not assigned to a division. The first appearance is also where individuals who were not ROR have an opportunity to make bond.


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Bonds in Florida

The amount of the bond is either based on a bond schedule or set by the court. Not all individuals will be eligible for a bond. Generally, those charged with serious violent offenses are denied bond. Bonds may be set either by cash or surety.

  • Cash Bond – in order to post a cash bond, the total amount of the bond must be paid in cash and placed with the Alachua County Sheriff's Office to guarantee that the arrestee will appear at court. At the end of the case, the bond will be refunded, minus any fines, or court costs.
  • Surety Bond – is through a bondsman who guarantees the arrestee's appearance.

If no bond is set or the individual is unable to pay the bond, then he or she will be kept in a holding cell until the case is resolved.


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What Are Booking Questions

Under the landmark United States Supreme Court Case, Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), the Court held that an individual that is in custody must be given Miranda rights before being interrogated. There is an exception to Miranda, however, called "booking questions," which are not considered "investigation" questions, because they are not intended to elicit incriminating information from the arrestee.

Booking questions refer to questions that ask general information used to enter an arrestee into the jailing system. Therefore, questions concerning an individual's name, address, phone number, social security number, etc… are considered booking questions and are not subject to Miranda warnings.


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Additional Resources

Alachua County Sherrif's Department – Visit the Alachua County Sheriff's Department to learn more about the standard book procedures for Alachua County, Florida and what to do at first appearance. The Booking Support Bureau is a twenty-four hour operation that is run by civilian employees. The Bureau supports in admission, release, and follow-up of criminal defendants.

Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure – Visit the official website of the Florida Bar for a full list of the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure, including rules on Florida booking procedures and the procedures for the first appearance, arraignment, and formal charges in Florida courts.


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Find an Attorney for Booking Procedures in Alachua County, FL

Being arrested can be a scary and stressful process. Often the beginning stages in an arrest, such as the booking procedures, first appearances, and formal charges, are the most crucial stages in the Florida criminal process. The importance of retaining an experienced criminal defense attorney in these initial stages cannot be overstated.

At Galigani Law Firm we represent criminal defendants during all stages of the Florida criminal process, from first appearances to trial. We represent clients in Starke, Oscala, Trenton, Lake City, Lake Butler, and Palatka, FL.

If you or someone you know has just been arrested in Bradford County, Union County, Putnam County, Gilchrist County, Levy County, Columbia County, or Marion County, Florida, contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys of Galigani Law Firm.

With offices located at , you can contact our office at any time to conduct a consultation.

This article was last updated on Thursday, July 06, 2017.


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