How to Find Out If Someone Has Been Booked in Jail

By Constance Simmons - Updated June 05, 2017
Hands of person in jail cell

Wondering whether someone you care about has been arrested and put in jail is an emotionally draining experience. Fortunately, technological advances make it easy to find out. Using either a phone or the internet, you can find out in minutes.

Finding Out if Someone is Booked in Jail

Gather personal information on the person you are looking for. Start with the person’s name, date of birth and date of arrest, if known.

Figure out the county or city the person was arrested in. This will help you narrow down what locations you need to call or research.

Decide if you want to use a bail bondsman. If you want to bail the person out, a bail bondsman can find out when the person was booked, as well as what the charges and bail are.

If you are not using a bail bondsman, you will have to do the rest of the work yourself. Start by calling the local police department and asking if the person you are looking for has been booked.

If the person you are looking for is not in the city jail, the clerk there may still have access to county records to see if the person you are looking for is in the county jail.

You can also use the internet to search for the person in question. Most city and county jails have online databases you can use to search for inmates.

Tip

There is a certain amount of wait time between the arrest and booking. It varies depending on the time of day and how busy the booking officers are. A phone call is allowed once a person is booked in jail. If someone you know has been arrested, you should expect a phone call within hours of their arrest. This may be helpful if you cannot locate where the person is jailed. State and county laws and procedures vary, so make sure that you research the state and county where the person was charged. If someone is arrested in one county or city, but the warrant for arrest was issued in another, they may be extradited to the county where the charges were filed.

About the Author

Constance Simmons is a writer from the Houston area. She has been writing academically for the past 11 years. She has a Bachelor of Science from McNeese State University in Lake Charles Louisiana, and a Master of Counseling from the University of Houston-Victoria in Victoria, Texas. Simmons has been a high school history teacher for the past seven years.

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