Booking Ordered At Arraignment
When a person comes to court for a first appearance (the arraignment), the judge will direct the person to go the the clerk's window and sign a "release agreement," and to go then to the Jackson County Jail to be "processed."
Police almost never arrest or hold the people who come to the jail for booking. As soon as they have their pictures and fingerprints done, they go on their way.
How Jail Booking Is Done
To be "booked," or "processed," a person who has been cited for a crime and released without being taken to the jail will have to report to the court and sign a release agreement after being arraigned on a criminal charge.
The release agreement is a promise to appear in court at the next hearing date, and an instruction to report to the jail.
At the jail, a deputy takes pictures and fingerprints. A "state identification number" is assigned. The "process" generally takes less than an hour.
How Booking Isn't Done
Anybody who grew up watching television will think they know what is supposed to happen when a person gets arrested for DUI. The police make a traffic stop. Then there is a flash of blinding light, and when the picture resolves, we see a mugshot of some hapless individual, holding up a sign with jail numbers.
Arrest and booking procedures have changed in Oregon.
Unless the police decide (or are required otherwise) to put someone in jail, a person who is arrested and taken into custody often won't get booked after an arrest. In many cases, the police leave the arrested person in the custody of a private "detoxification facility." Police also have the discretion to release a driver cited for DUI to a responsible sober person. There are some nice police who give some of their newly-minted defendants a ride home. One way or another, most drivers who are arrested are not taken to jail and are released without being "booked."
To get booked in Jackson County, you have to go to the Jackson County Jail. If you are out of custody, you will have to go see the court clerk at the Jackson County Justice Building and sign a release agreement before you go to the jail.
Why You Have to Go to the Jail
It may seem that the police, who used to take the fingerprints of the people they arrested, have somehow gotten the courts to do their job for them. The sponsor of this legislation, a Multnomah County judge, told me before this measure was enacted that he was interested in tracking the success rates and the recidivism rates of persons enrolled in various DUI treatment programs. He wanted these State Identification Numbers assigned for this purpose. In the meantime, however, the courts seem to have elevated the importance of the booking statutes to a strict, new level of data collection and compliance.
It is unknown to me if any data is being compiled locally that has something to do with the stated intent of this law, which was to collect data on the success of various local treatment programs.
The Official Oregon Booking Law
ORS 813.017 Arraignment; booking. When a person is arraigned on a charge of driving while under the influence of intoxicants in violation of ORS 813.010, a court shall ensure that the defendant submits to booking, if the person has not already been booked on that charge.
The courts have viewed their role in the booking process seriously. When a defendant comes to court the first time, the judge will tell the person to report to clerk's window and then the jail. There are clerks assigned to keep track of defendants who haven't been booked. If a defendant returns to court for a second appearance and hasn't been booked, the judges don't like it.
A person who needs to be booked will present a release agreement to the deputy at the jail window. Another deputy will take photographs and fingerprints. A "State Identification Number" will be assigned. This number and the information associated with it will be stored on federal and state law enforcement databases.
Your Mugshot Will Not Go Online
Until recently, photographs taken at Oregon jails were posted on the jail's website. Once photos were online, unscrupulous companies would download these pictures and post them on private "mugshot" sites. This practice was subject to many abuses (see above).
With few exceptions, Oregon jails and law enforcement agencies are no longer permitted to post photographs of suspects and defendants on their websites.
Talk With a Criminal Defense Lawyer
As you have gathered, there's usually not a lot I can do about the booking process. On the other hand, if you have been arrested or charged with a criminal offense, there is absolutely no rational reason to not discuss your case with a qualified, experienced legal specialist who can help you resolve your legal problems.
If you are being investigated or prosecuted in a criminal matter, you're welcome to call.
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