When Does an Arrest Mean a Trip to Jail?

This week, a number of our web site’s commenters have wondered about who qualifies for a trip to the Kitsap County jail after an arrest is made.

The recent DUI arrests of both the Port Orchard mayor and a Kitsap County sheriff’s sergeant ended in both men being released, rather than getting booked into jail.

So what determines if a person is locked up after being accused of a crime?

According to Scott Wilson, Kitsap County sheriff’s spokesman, it is up to the arresting officer. Each case is different and involves its own set of facts.

There are only a few crimes — driving with a suspended license, petty theft, or DUI being most of them — in which an officer will contemplate releasing an arrested person. A person accused of a violent offense, or in which the person shows they could be a threat to themselves or others, is going to get booked.

The person might have medical issues that need to be addressed, however, and that could keep them out of jail — at least while they’re being treated. People who are dangerously intoxicated will also not be booked until they sober up.

While it may not help in avoiding a trip to jail, Wilson said the person’s cooperation never hurts toward a possible release. Being polite and respectful for a minor arrestable offense might be grounds for a release — but not necessarily. Law enforcement officers weigh the “totality of the circumstances,” Wilson said, in making that call.

2 thoughts on “When Does an Arrest Mean a Trip to Jail?

  1. The real answer is anytime a cop wants to.
    The repercussions for booking on trumped-up charges are nil.
    The impact of a cop’s wrath are never held up for an answer.
    You may spend a night in jail,
    be bailed,
    and never face any charges.
    Or any apology either.

  2. I do not believe what Wilson has to say, it is who you know and what kind of grief they (police) will get if they haul you off to jail. The mayor should have been subject to the same circumstances and anyone else that has incurred a crime: hand cuffs, back of police car, booking, jail cell, car getting towed and having to be bailed out. It would have maybe made him a little more respectful and human.

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