San Diego County Booking Process Explained

When individuals are arrested, they are usually taken to a local police station where they are likely interviewed, and where necessary reports and forms are prepared. If the individual is arrested for a DUI, a breath, urine, or chemical blood test will be conducted. This process can take up to four hours before the person is brought to a county jail to be booked. A long period of time may pass before the jail system has any notification of a person’s arrest. Therefore, if you call shortly after your friend or loved one is arrested, you may find that they are not yet in the jail system.

Male inmates are booked at either the San Diego Central Jail in Downtown San Diego or the Vista Detention Facility. All female inmates come into the jail system through either the Las Colinas Detention Facility in Santee or the Vista Detention Facility in Vista.

When arrested individuals arrive at the jail facility, they go through the intake process before being housed in the inmate population. This process takes about four to six hours and is comprised of medical screening, the booking process, and the classification interview.

Immediately upon arrival at the jail, the inmate is examined for any medical conditions that need immediate treatment. A nurse conducts a private screening to make sure the inmate is not injured or in need of immediate medical treatment. A second medical examination is conducted later in the booking process to ensure all conditions that an inmate may have are properly noted and that the facility is capable of meeting the inmate’s medical needs.

During the booking process, all inmates are searched to make sure that no contraband is being brought into the facility. They are photographed and fingerprinted. Their personal information and charges are entered into the computer system, their bail is calculated, and a court date is set.

Some inmates may be eligible for release on their own recognizance very soon after booking. Intoxicated inmates will be held for up to 12 hours, and sometimes longer, to ensure they are sober enough to be safely released. Most inmates are eligible for bail, and they have access to telephones to arrange bail through friends, family, or bail agents. A list of bail agents is available in each facility. All-Pro Bail Bonds is listed as a top bail agency with all contact information present and available. Offices are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and agents are ready to assist you through the process.

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