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  Bail Bonds Home » California Arrest and Booking Process

California Arrest and Booking Process

Taken to Jail When Someone is Arrested

When someone is arrested in California, they will be taken to a local law enforcement station for processing and booking. They may be taken to a local police department or sheriff's station where there is a holding facility or jail. You can contact Patel Bail Bonds and we can provide help in California with bail bonds.

The California booking process can take a considerable amount of time, depending on the size of the jail and how busy the station may be. Sometimes booking is done within an hour, sometimes several hours. Generally, the larger the jail, the longer the booking process takes. For example, large county jails, like the Men's Central Jail or Santa Ana Jail, may take up to or in excess of 12 hours for processing an arrestee into the system. These two jails are particularly significant because arrestees in Los Angeles County and Orange County will likely be taken or transferred to these jails if they are not bailed out of smaller jails quickly.

Booking and Processing

The detainee will be searched for weapons, drugs and the like. Their personal belongings will be catalogued and retained by the jailer. During their time in jail the detainee will not have access to their money, credit cards, cell phones, etc.

The booking process consists of fingerprinting, background check, checking for warrants and processing into the computer system. As you know computers are an integral part of our society. The local jurisdiction will have it's own computer system. There is also a nationwide criminal computer system that needs to be cross referenced and updated for each arrest.

When Someone in Jail Calls You

The defendant is taken to a jail cell after fingerprints are taken. Some jail cells have a payphone for use often including the bail section of the yellow pages. Otherwise, arrestees will be given phone access at the jailer's convenience. Inmates cannot receive phone calls or messages. If someone calls you from jail, please get as much information from them as possible. You will want to know what jail they are in, what they have been arrested for, if they want to be bailed out and if there are personal matters that need to be addressed for them, for example, children, pets, and job situations.

Jail Processing and Setting Bail

The work involved on the part of the jail staff to get the individual processed is considerable. The entire process can be time consuming and frustrating. In smaller jails the arrest processing can be done within an hour, some of the larger jails can 12 hours or more. When someone is arrested on the weekend, at night, during turbulent times, meal times or shift changes, booking can be expected to take longer. The first goal of the jail is to keep everyone safe.

If the defendant is eligible for bail, it will be set during the booking process. The computer systems need to update after the jailer has done all of this work. A bail bond cannot be completed until physical and computer processing has been complete. After they have been booked, the defendant has several options for release.

After the individual has been booked, they may be released from jail on bail bond or otherwise or they may be held until arraignment if no bail is posted. Arraignment generally takes place within two business days. For example, someone arrested on Thursday night would generally be arraigned on the following Monday.

For more detailed California bail bond information, please visit my How the Bail Process Works and Cost of Bail pages.

Call 24 hours a day for more information or California bail bonds service. Toll-free, nationwide 1-800-598-BAIL (2245) or call 1-888-598-5288 .


Patel, Bail Bondsman
Al Patel, Bondsman
1-800-598-BAIL (2245)
Free Bail Bond Information, Anytime
Insurance License # 1845933

Corporate Headquarters
5220 Clark Ave. Suite #110
Lakewood, CA 90712
Office: 562-866-7666
(Next to Lakewood Sheriff Station)

Office Locations:
Lakewood : 562-866-7666
Cerritos : 562-860-7779
Norwalk : 562-864-7779
Downey : 562-861-7666
Long Beach : 562-435-7666
Orange County : 714-969-7779
Diamond Bar : 909-860-7779
Monrovia : 626-303-5557
La Palma : 714-994-4666
Northridge : 818-837-3777
Santa Monica : 310-576-7779

Cell phone : (562) 572-9935
Email :
Member of : PBUS, GSBAA

"You helped me get bailed out of jail on Friday night. I just wanted to say thank you. It was an awful experience for me, and if nothing else, your kind voice on the other end of the phone in that cell was a tremendous comfort."
- Chrystal in Santa Clarita


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Cell: (562) 572-9935
Member of: PBUS, GSBAA

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