Former President Donald Trump is expected to surrender to law enforcement authorities in New York City as early as next week. He has been indicted by a Manhattan grand jury after an investigation into payments made during his 2016 presidential campaign to silence claims of an extramarital sexual encounter. This marks the first criminal case ever brought against a former U.S. president.
How are defendants booked in New York?
When a defendant is taken into custody in New York, they are typically fingerprinted, photographed, and arraigned. Defendants are usually detained for at least several hours, but the specifics depend on the severity of the case and whether defendants arrange to turn themselves in.
About booking an Ex-President with U.S. Secret Service Protection
The process of booking an ex-president with U.S. Secret Service protection is unprecedented. Agents are tasked with the protection of former presidents unless and until they say they don’t need it. Trump has kept his detail, so agents would need to be by his side at all times. Experts predict a carefully choreographed and relatively quick process, without bail and with a focus on security.
If defendants are notified of an impending arrest, they often arrange to turn themselves in. Doing so can smooth the process and strengthen arguments for bail by showing that they aren’t evading the case. For example, when the former finance chief of Trump's company, Allen Weisselberg, was indicted in Manhattan on tax fraud charges in 2021, he was able to turn himself in at a courthouse side door before normal workday hours.
Weisselberg arrived early and was taken to a holding room for booking, an interview about potential release, and other procedures. He was arraigned and released about eight hours later.
A Scheduled Arrest is Still an Arrest
Even a scheduled arrest is still an arrest. Defendants have to give up cellphones and other personal items for safekeeping, and lawyers generally aren't allowed to accompany their clients through the process. Attorneys advise traveling light and staying quiet.
Unplanned Arrests in New York
Many arrests in New York City aren't preplanned. When a hotel housekeeper accused then-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexually assaulting her in 2011, he was pulled off a plane at Kennedy Airport. Strauss-Kahn spent about 36 hours being questioned, arrested, undergoing various exams, and waiting in a courthouse holding pen before being arraigned and jailed without bail.
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