criminal record expungement

Book and Release After Arrest and Background Checks

Most employers do background checks before offering anyone employment with their respective company.  This can be unnerving if the applicant has any type of arrest record.  Most people often wonder what exactly shows up on a background check.  Unfortunately, any type of arrest will show up, even if the person was ultimately not prosecuted or the case was dismissed.  When someone is arrested, the “book and release” procedure is what triggers the information being inputted into the California and FBI databases.  Once the information is in the system, it will stay there unless you hire an attorney to help you seal the arrest record.

Don’t Book and Release Because a Cop Tells You To

There are times when a police officer will not go through the formal book and release procedure for a suspect.  Instead of the book and release procedure, the officer simply writes the person a citation with a court date on it, similar to the citation you receive for a traffic ticket.  The most common situations involve when someone is accused of stealing from a store.  When this occurs, the officer will usually instruct the person that he or she is required to go to the police department before the court date on the ticket and go through the “book and release” procedure.   If this happens to you or someone you know, DON’T DO IT!!  Only a judge can “order” someone to do a “book and release.”

Book and Release Not Necessary Before You Go to Court

A police officer has absolutely no legal authority to order anyone to “book and release” after he/she issues a citation for a misdemeanor offense.  If the officer does not take the person to the police station for the booking process, that officer is being lazy by trying to get the person to do it on their own.  The booking procedure can take up to a couple of hours to complete, depending on the police department. It is a formality that some officers just don’t want to have to go through during their shift if it involves a petty crime and more paperwork.  When you are booked and released, your picture and fingerprints are taken and input into a computer system that will be available on a live scan.  In addition, there are website companies that can get access to your booking photo and download it onto the internet for the world to see if someone searches your name.  If this is the situation you are currently involved in, wait until you go to court and a judge specifically orders you to go through the book and release process.  Until that happens, do not do it!!

By waiting until a judge orders you to complete the procedure, your information WILL NOT be in the system.  Your information will not show up on a live scan, and your picture will not be posted all over the internet.  If you are being charged with a petty crime and your criminal lawyer can get you an informal disposition where the case will be dismissed, you will avoid this whole situation if the court never orders you to book and release.  If you or someone you know has been cited and released for a petty offense and need legal representation, call Kenney Legal Defense at (855) 505-5588 to assist.  Attorney Karren Kenney has over 20 years of experience and is ready to represent you.

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