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UNDERSTANDING THE CRIMINAL PROCESS
The Booking Process
While going through the booking process, the following should be expected:
  • Mug Shots
  • Fingerprints
  • A search
  • Routine questions on background information (name, address, etc.)

If your case begins with a court appearance and not an arrest, you may still be required to appear at the police station for a book-and-release procedure.

Most jails will give out booking information (arrest date, bail, visiting information, location, court date, charges and booking number). Generally, you'll be asked for the defendant's full name and birth date. Keep the booking number for future reference.





THE CRIMINAL PROCESS
THE BASICS
THE CASE
THE COURTS

IMPORTANT!
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PRE-FILE ALERT:
Don't Wait Until You Are Arrested!

If you even suspect that you may be charged with a crime, speak to an attorney now!

Very often before formal charges are filed, there is an investigation. Law enforcement tries to gather as much evidence as possible to build their case against you. This is the pre-file stage of a case.

This pre-file period can be the most crucial stage of a criminal case. Since you haven't been arrested, you don't have any Miranda Rights. This is when most people fall into law enforcement traps designed to destroy their legal case.

Learn more

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APPEALS ALERT!
Blakely v. Washington May
Give You a Second Chance

If you or someone you know was sentenced after 1998 (if the conviction was appealed) or 2000 (if there was no appeal), the new United States Supreme Court decision in Blakely vs. Washington may provide a second change to review your sentence!

WHAT TO DO IF ...
If Arrested
If Accused or Under Investigation
Members: NACDL and ABA
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