What is an Arrest and Booking Report?
Why just tell you when I can show you, click here. As you can see, the A&B is the official report written up usually by the arresting officer in criminal case. The first page will provide some biographical information, including name, address, DOB, employer, place of birth and school last attended. There will aslo be identification information including, height, weight, eye color, race, sex and tattoos (distinguishing marks). There will also be a section which provides for the basic geographical and time information for the incident that is being written up.
Officer's Version of Events Is Not Always Accurate
Now on to the more exciting and important sections, the statues which the officer believes were violated and the brief summary written by the officer explaining why he/she believes a crime was committed. It should be noted that an officer does not file charges, they make the arrest. The criminal statutes named on an A&B may not be the final charges filed by the State Attorney's Office.
An A&B is not evidence in your trial, it does how ever provide very important information. The officer will attempt to recite why he/she believes probable cause existed for the persons arrest. Remember, "beyond and to the exclusion of all reasonable doubt" is the standard for a conviction in trial, a police officer only needs probable cause to arrest someone. The officer's written account can be used against them if they try to change their story when testifying in a hearing or trial. A skilled criminal defense attorney will know how to use all available information to direct the cross examination of a police officer and make sure the "real" story is being told.
The A&B provides an attorney the initial look at what the officer believes happened. In a DUI, the officer will put down his observations, as you can see in the sample A&B provided. Other crimes may involve victims or witnesses, some of their statements to the police will be in the summary and their names will be on the A&B. By reading the A&B an attorney can begin to devise any motions they may believe appropriate and start piecing together the strengths and weaknesses of a case.
Be Polite To The Police
Often any incriminating statements you may make will be in the A&B, so it is best to try to keep your mouth shut and if you feel the need to answer in just a yes or no manner, please be polite. It makes it more difficult for your attorney to negotiate a good plea deal when your police report is full of f-bombs directed at the police.
If You Have Any Questions Regarding a Criminal Case in Florida
Please contact Clifton Law Office, you can reach me at my contact page online or call me directly at 904-209-4883.