If you are arrested, you will be handcuffed, and except in unusual circumstances, you will first be taken to the precinct in which the arrest occurred for initial processing. At the precinct, a police officer will interview you and ask for “pedigree” information, including your name, address, date of birth, Social Security number, etc. Once you have been fingerprinted you will be taken to Central Booking and processed for arraignment, which is an appearance before a judge.
If you know in advance that you might be arrested (for example, you are planning to engage in civil disobedience during a demonstration, or voluntarily appear at a precinct at the request of the police), or are arrested at your home, you can prepare for arrest. Leave most personal property at home, but do take two forms of identification with you. Picture identification cards, such as a current driver’s license or student identification card, are best. You should also bring a supply of quarters for telephone calls.