Booking Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Booking, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Booking?

Part of the process of being arrested in which the details of who a person is and why he or she was arrested are recorded into the police records.

History and Meaning of Booking

Booking is an important process that takes place after a person has been arrested. The process involves recording the details of the person and the reason for the arrest into the police records. This information includes the person's name, address, date of birth, physical traits, and other identification details. Booking also includes taking fingerprints and photographs to create a record of the person's criminal history and cross-checking the information with national databases.

The booking process began in the mid-nineteenth century in the United States, and it has since become a standard procedure across the world. The creation of the booking process came after the realization that law enforcement agencies needed a system to record and track criminals' movements and activities to prevent crime and protect citizens.

Examples of Booking

  1. After the suspect was arrested, they were taken to the station, where they went through the booking process before being placed in a holding cell.
  2. The officer requested backup before making an arrest, since they would need someone to assist with the booking process, which would require keeping a close eye on the suspect.
  3. The suspect refused to provide their real name during the booking process, causing delays and creating additional work for the officers.
  4. After the booking process was completed, the suspect was transferred to another facility for processing before their trial.
  5. The officers working in the booking area have to stay vigilant and ensure that all details are accurate since mistakes can lead to the release of dangerous criminals.

Legal Terms Similar to Booking

  1. Arrest Warrant - A legal document that authorizes law enforcement to arrest and detain a suspect.
  2. Mugshot - A photograph taken of a suspect during the booking process to create a record of their appearance and criminal history.
  3. Incarceration - The act of putting someone in prison, typically as a result of a criminal conviction.