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Mel Gibson's Mugshot, Fingerprint Taken: What is a Book and Release?

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on March 18, 2011 6:50 AM

The Mel Gibson mugshot is out and it looks like the battle with ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva has taken a toll on the actor's appearance.

Moping away and in need of some serious botox, the actor popped into the El Segundo police station Wednesday night after pleading no contest to domestic battery at the end of last week.

There won't be any jail time for the actor, so why the Mel Gibson mugshot? And the fingerprints? Has someone finally decided to make a buck off the guy?

No--it's called book and release.

When a person has agreed to a no-jail plea agreement, immediately pays bail, or simply does not have bail, the police conduct what is known as a book and release. If not already there, a defendant presents himself at the local police station wherein they book him. This entails taking a mugshot, fingerprints, and a horde of paperwork. The police are basically creating a detailed file about the person.

As the term implies, there is then a release. Sometimes during a book and release, a defendant must proffer bail, whereas during other times he is released on his own recognizance. Mel Gibson paid $20,000 in bail according to Access Hollywood. It's likely that the bail is a guarantee that he show up for a future court date or a meeting with his new probation officer.

Speaking of his probation officer, the actor will be on probation for 3 years and will have to perform 16 hours of community service according to the gossip site. He also has to undergo a year-long domestic violence program and continue a mental health-counseling program.

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