Salt Lake City

City Attorney's Office


There are two ways to be booked into jail

Probable Cause

The arresting officer has reasonable suspicion. The officer must be willing to swear to the truthfulness of written facts pertaining to the case. Defendants booked on probably cause may be held for 72 hours (business days) to give the District Attorneys (DA) office time to file the official charges.

Judicial Order

An arrest warrant or bench warrant is issued by the court demanding a court appearance. When the DA’s office files the charges on a probable cause arrest, a warrant will issue. Bench warrants usually are issued for some type of non-compliance or failure to appear charge.

Screening interview

Each individual booked into jail will be interviewed.

The Jail Screening interview

  • Probation and parole status
  • Current address
  • Previous address
  • References
  • Student status
  • Marital status
  • Veteran status
  • Source of income
  • Alcohol and drug use
  • Mental health status

Other information gathered by the screener

  • BCI records: Screeners check for prior similar crimes/violent history/other pertinent facts
  • Adult Probation and Parole: Screeners check AP&P’s web site for supervision status
  • Verification of information given by defendant
  • Psychological evaluations to determine threat to the community and self, and ability to comply with supervision

Releasing defendants

  • Pretrial screeners have judicially delegated authority to release all misdemeanors and non-violent third degree felonies
  • Violent felonies and second degree require judicial approval. The screener may call the on-call judge to approve release
  • Court/Surrender screeners get releases in court on people the jail staff could not release immediately.

Factors in making the decision to release a defendant

  • The charges must be releasable
  • Verifiable home address
  • Valid references
  • Good history on previous releases

Surrender screening

  • The same interview
  • Psychological evaluations are completed ahead of time
  • Defendant appears in court at his or her initial appearance
  • Judge signs release order
  • Defendant drives to the jail to be booked and released
  • Surrenders allow for all the release procedures to be completed before being booked

Supervision of clients

  • All class A and felony cases are supervised
  • Domestic Violence and repeat DUI’s are also supervised
  • Case loads average 170 per case manager
  • Most clients check in telephonically daily

Reasons to revoke a client’s release

  • New arrest-violation date after current case’s violation date
  • Failure to comply with conditions of release
  • Verifiable threat to the community