Skip to main content

What happens if i don't show for booking? (petty theft, 484pc.arrested/cited)

Tracy, CA |

i was arrested for petty theft and given a citation with booking required checked.. now some sites claim it is to be ordered by the court and not mandatory by the police? what happens if i don't go to the date given? I'm planning on a diversion outcome, so is it wise for booking or not?

+ Read More

Attorney answers 5


You may end up with a warrant.
Diversion should be a factor.
Having an attorney begin to set diversion up IMMEDIATELY would help all around.
Diversion is enabled by (1) your eligibility and (2) existence of a program. In CA they are not uniform. Have the attorney begin to set diversion up IMMEDIATELY.

Curt Harrington Patent & Tax Law Attorney Certified Tax Specialist by the California Board of Legal Specialization PATENTAX.COM This communication is general information and not legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. This communication should not be relied upon as any type of legal advice. Please note that no attorney-client relationship exists between the sender and the recipient of this message in the absence of either (1) a signed fee contract and (2) remission of an agreed-upon retainer. Absent such an agreement and retainer, I am not engaged by you as an attorney, nor is any other member of my law firm.

Harry Edward Hudson Jr

Harry Edward Hudson Jr


In San Joaquin County, if you do not go to be "booked" , you get to explain why you failed. You will generally get one more opportunity before court helps with the transportation.


My guess is that the citation gave you a court date, not a booking date. "Booking required" is a notice to the court that you were not booked, only cited. If you are convicted - or granted diversion- you will be ordered by the court to get booked, which is basically having your fingerprints and photograph taken and gather some pertinent information. It is a short process. If you don't show up to court a warrant will be issued - not good for many reasons. So show up and I'll bet things will work out.


Diversion would be great for you, but booking will still likely be required by the court when you make your first appearance. Bring your attorney to court, or ask for the Public Defender if you qualify. Best wishes.

Although I am an experienced CA criminal defense and appeals attorney, I can not 'guarantee' that my answer is entirely accurate, since I have not reviewed all of the factual circumstances of the case, nor have I discussed those circumstances fully with the questioner. The fact that I have answered this question does not establish an attorney client relationship between the questioner and my self or my office.


Your citation gives you a court date for arraignment. If you are actually charged and enter a plea or are convicted at trial, the court will order you to be booked and released if no actual custody is ordered. The court will give you the book and release date at sentencing if you are convicted. If you don't show up at court on the date in the citation, a warrant will be issued for your arrest if the case is actually filed.


You need to go to the court on the date listed on the citation. You could call the DA to ensure that the case was filed prior to the date. Sometimes they are not filed and you'd waste a trip to the jail. The court will order a "book and release" which, as other lawyers have told you, means they need to get your fingerprints, photo, address, etc. You will not go into custody. However, if you don't show up on the date told, there will be a warrant, which means you could go into custody. You should consult an attorney immediately to discuss a diversion program.

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer