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How do you get your mugshot off the Internet?

December 28, 2022 Arrest Records | Mugshot Removal | remove mugshot

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Understanding Your Mugshot


A mugshot is a photograph taken by law enforcement agencies when someone is arrested and taken into custody, usually for a criminal act. Mugshots are then published on official websites and can stay online indefinitely, as well as on third-party sites and even local newspapers. As such, understanding your mugshot and how to get it removed from the Internet is an important step in upholding your online reputation and protecting your employment opportunities. In this article, we will discuss important topics such as the legal ramifications of having a mugshot online and how to remove it.

What is a Mugshot?

A mugshot is a photograph taken of your face when you have been arrested by the police that is used to identify you. Mugshots are included in official court documents and may be forwarded to the agency responsible for your prosecution. Mugshots are not generally released to the public, however, some states do post mugshots online making them available for anyone to see. This can have a significant impact on both your personal and professional life. In most cases when someone has been arrested, the booking process takes place at the police station or another designated arresting facility. During this process, fingerprints, photo identification, and background information is collected from the individual. It is at this point that a mugshot will be taken of an individual; typically this will be a black-and-white photo with a standard background. The photos are often taken with the subject facing forward with their full face visible so that they can easily be identified by future observers. Some jurisdictions may also require an additional headshot looking sideways or angling down so that all facial features can clearly be seen in the profile view as well. The release of mugshots varies greatly from state to state; in some cases, they can remain publicly accessible indefinitely while others require mugshots (and all associated records) to eventually be removed from websites or databases after a set period of time has passed from the date of arrest. In cases where records may still remain accessible even after deletion requests or court orders have been issued for removal, there can still be significant damage done to an individual’s reputation unless proactive measures are implemented immediately following their initial booking event(s).

How Mugshots are Published Online

Mugshots are often published online by law enforcement agencies, such as local police departments, county sheriff’s offices, and jails. While inmates in jails can’t access the Internet themselves to post mugshots of themselves on social media or other websites, they often share these photos with people they know who then turn around and post them online. Additionally, many public records which contain mugshots are now easily accessible via the Internet. For example, the websites of local police departments and sheriff’s offices frequently offer up digital copies of crime-related documents – including mugshots – for public consumption. Finally, some third-party websites specialize in collecting mugshots from a variety of sources and displaying them on their sites. These companies typically charge fees to have a particular mugshot removed from their website; however, not all of these websites respond when requests are made to remove a particular mugshot from their site. Additionally, some states have laws that dictate the length of time for which a mugshot can remain posted on a third-party website before it must be removed.

The Legal Implications of Mugshots

Having your mugshot available on the internet can pose a serious risk to your reputation and have many legal implications. It can be difficult to have your mugshot removed from the internet, and if not removed, can stay online indefinitely. It is important to understand the legal implications of mugshots and to be aware of how you can get your mugshot off the internet, so you can protect your reputation and avoid negative consequences.

Understanding Your Rights

Mugshots are often posted online by law enforcement agencies and privately owned mugshot websites after a person’s arrest. This can be extremely embarrassing and damaging to an individual’s professional reputation regardless of whether the charges were ultimately dismissed or they are found innocent after their trial. It is important to understand what your rights are regarding mugshots posted on the internet, so you can take the appropriate legal measures to protect your privacy and reputation. In many states, there are laws that make it illegal for private companies to profit from mugshots and other criminal records. There are also numerous organizations that have sued over these practices and successfully ended them in a court of law. In addition, some states have passed legislation that requires government departments and law enforcement agencies to remove an individual’s public records upon request. Further, some states may require organizations to disclose information regarding how they obtain mugshots in order for them to appear legally on their website. It is also important to remember that most public record organizations must comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). This includes organizations that purchase public records from governmental departments or individuals who willfully post online material without permission or in violation of state laws. The FCRA sets out strict consumer protection guidelines with respect to protecting personal information displayed on websites as part of any reporting about an individual’s criminal history or any other activity relating thereto. If you feel like a website is displaying your private information without permission or in violation of any laws or regulations, you should immediately contact an attorney who specializes in consumer protection rights under FCRA for further advice about the best course of action moving forward.

Potential Legal Ramifications of Mugshots

The legal ramifications of mugshots are complex and vary by state. In some states, mugshots can be difficult to remove from the Internet due to legal restrictions. Furthermore, many states have laws that require websites to post mugshots of successful prosecutions. On the other hand, some states allow a person with a criminal record to petition the court for an expungement or removal of their mugshots from public record. In addition, there are specific rules governing the collection and use of mugshots in the United States. Law enforcement organizations must abide by the US Department of Justice’s Digital Media Guidelines, which stipulate that law enforcement personnel must not make any changes or alterations to an individual’s photograph for any reason and must not use facial recognition software in conjunction with images submitted. Furthermore, any unauthorized uploading or distribution, or reuse of a photograph is prohibited under these guidelines. Finally, there are also potential civil law implications related to the publication and sharing of arrest records and photographs on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. To protect oneself from potential legal liability related to the unauthorized distribution of personal information such as arrest photos, it is important for individuals to familiarize themselves with their own state’s data privacy laws as well as research what existing federal rules apply in this area.

How to Get Your Mugshot Removed

Having your mugshot published online after being arrested can have drastic consequences for your reputation, employment, and other opportunities. Fortunately, there are ways to get your mugshot removed from the internet, whether it is on the most popular search engines or third-party sites. In this article, we will discuss the process involved in getting your mugshot removed, including the legal implications and what steps you need to take to ensure your mugshot is deleted from the internet.

Contacting the Mugshot Website

One of the first steps to getting your mugshot removed from the internet is to contact the site where it is hosted. Many mugshot websites limit their liability and absolve themselves of any legal issues by providing a way for those pictured to contact them directly and request removal. If a website has such a system in place, you can submit your request using their online form or by sending an email directly to the website’s administrators. When making your request, be sure to provide all relevant information, such as your full name, citation number (if known), date of arrest, and other details that may help identify your mugshot. Additionally, make sure you include any proof of your innocence or details about errors or discrepancies with regard to the events surrounding your arrest (if applicable) which may factor into the removal process. In some cases, you may even be required to submit proof of identity for review by the website administrators before they will consider taking any action on removing or editing your mugshot from their site.

Contacting the Arresting Agency

The first step to take when attempting to have your mugshot removed from the internet is to contact the arresting agency that published it. Most states have their own public record database, called a Department of Justice website, where arrest records and mugshots are available for public viewing. To determine which agency published the information online, visit your state’s Department of Justice website. Some states allow you to make requests directly through the site or provide contact information for those making requests offline. The main drawback when contacting an arrest agency is that each one has its own policies and procedures regarding request processes, what is allowed, and what isn’t. Additionally, most agencies require personal information, and can take several weeks or even months to process requests. Furthermore, some may not even respond at all or ca not legally remove mugshots due to privacy regulations. This means that your only option may be requesting the removal of allegedly incorrect data even though you will likely still find your mugshot on third-party websites including newspapers, booking data aggregator sites, and more.

Hiring a Mugshot Removal Lawyer

Hiring a qualified mugshot removal lawyer can be one of the fastest and most efficient ways to get your mugshot erased from the Internet. A reputable lawyer will have extensive knowledge of privacy laws in your area and will know the best strategies for having your mugshot completely removed. Mugshots are public records, but since posting them online can negatively impact an individual’s employment, housing, or personal opportunities, a skilled attorney may be able to assist you with legal recourse to erase the information from public search engine databases. The process involves filing appropriate paperwork in court, securing all necessary court orders, and sending cease-and-desist letters to all websites that display your mugshot. Your lawyer may also be able to correct potentially false and defamatory information related to your mugshot. Additionally, if reputational damage has resulted from the publication of the mugshot image itself (as opposed to related content), you may even qualify for monetary damages as part of a privacy lawsuit. In some cases it is possible to have the image removed without engaging legal help by submitting a formal DMCA takedown request directly to websites that publish the image; however, this process can become complicated quickly and should ideally not be attempted without professional guidance or reviewable paperwork.

Other Strategies for Removing Your Mugshot

Removing your mugshot from the internet can seem like an intimidating and difficult task. You may not know where to start or which services are legitimate. In this article, we will discuss some other strategies for removing your mugshot from the internet. In addition to searching for a mugshot removal service, there are other methods you can use such as filing a removal request to the publisher, using a lawyer to have your record expunged, or using a reputable company to help you manipulate search engine results.

Manipulating Search Engine Results

Manipulating search engine results can be an effective way to have your mugshot removed from the Internet. Many search engines index contents from hundreds of websites and will usually display summaries that contain related information. By working with a Professional Reputation Management (PRM) company, you can take advantage of advanced tactics to suppress undesired information or remove it entirely. Search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing are the most commonly used tools to find information on the web. When a person searches for your name or other personal identifiers, these search engines will crawl through countless websites so they can deliver the desired results. Manipulating these results requires expertise in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and PRM (Public Relations Management). SEO is a process used to influence how websites appear when certain keywords or phrases are entered into search engines. SEO tactics are employed by PRM companies who specialize in offering reputation management services so your mugshot is pushed down and buried in search results. These professionals use specialized software that automates many of their processes, including monitoring discrepancies between Google’s indexed version of a webpage versus what is shown on the actual website, identifying specific websites with outdated content pertaining to you such as mugshots, optimizing websites so they receive preferential rankings on the SERP (search engine result page) amongst others. They also use manual link-building techniques like creating guest blog posts with anchor links pointing back to your site or paying people to write reviews about you and linking them to other profiles authored by you across social media networks like LinkedIn or Facebook. This helps boost your website’s visibility while pushing undesirable content lower into SERPs where fewer people will find them. With the right PRM company at your side, you can rid yourself of unwanted exposures quickly and effectively – allowing your reputation to remain intact online for years to come!

Posting Positive Content

Posting positive content is another effective strategy for removing your mugshot from the Internet. This approach involves creating a reputation-building campaign aimed at increasing your online visibility while diluting the visibility of the mugshot. By engaging in activities such as creating meaningful and relevant content, blogging, participating in community activities, creating profiles on major social networks, and more, you can bolster your online identity and enhance your overall reputation. As mentioned before, remember to create unique Google-friendly names for yourself when signing up for new accounts because Google’s search results are strongly controlled by how it identifies user accounts. Also, remember that not all of the tactics involved with posting positive content may result in immediate removal of the mugshot away from the top of search engine rankings — this activity requires patience as it could take some time before it’s no longer visible in a web search.

Contacting Third-Party Sites

For many, the random presence of their mugshots on third-party sites can cause a great deal of frustration. Websites like and specialize in aggregating public legal documents, including booking photos for arrests which are otherwise made relatively difficult to find online. Since there is no unified set of standards to which such sites adhere, you may have to contact each website individually with a formal written request asking them to remove your photo within the bounds of the law. Be aware that some websites do charge mugshot removal fees or commit individuals to a lifetime publication-republication exemption contract in exchange for removal services. Research any website listing your photo carefully before and during any communication with them as well as document all correspondence regarding the removal of your photo; this will help ensure that you stay protected against fraud or possible extortion attempts by these online agencies or individuals acting on their behalf. As mentioned previously, be sure to read any applicable terms and conditions before signing any agreement with third-party sites that are willing to provide mugshot removal services, and should always consult with an attorney prior to doing so if you have questions or concerns.


In conclusion, getting your mugshot off the Internet is a challenging process, and can often require the help of a criminal defense attorney, or a mugshot removal service. Although it is possible to remove your mugshot yourself by filing paperwork with local law enforcement agencies and third-party sites, it may be in your best interest to enlist the help of a criminal defense attorney who has experience in managing online reputations. If a criminal charge has been filed against you, your attorney may be able to assist you in getting the record expunged or sealed, which can help to reduce or eliminate the legal ramifications and the potential for negative information appearing on the Internet.

The Benefits of Getting Your Mugshot Removed

Although the process of getting your mugshot removed from the internet is often complex and difficult, there are several benefits to doing so: 1. Your digital reputation can be preserved: Removing a mugshot from the internet helps you maintain a reputable digital presence. It will prevent potential employers, universities, or landlords from seeing your mugshot ‒ which could negatively impact their investigation into your character. 2. Your privacy is restored: People may think they know who you are based on searching for your name and finding an easily accessible mugshot on the internet. Having this taken down removes this online access and restores your much-needed privacy. 3. You can move on with life: It’s hard to forget about a mistake from the past when it still exists across multiple search engines each time someone Googles your name. After taking the initiative to have it removed, you can finally begin to focus on what’s ahead in life rather than what happened in the past. 4. Your family and friends may be affected as well: A public arrest record or mugshot could adversely affect those nearest and dearest to you as well – so having it taken off the internet isn’t just beneficial for yourself but could also help keep close relationships safe.

The Value of a Reputable Mugshot Removal Service

Removing a mugshot from the internet can be an arduous task, as often these records are simultaneously indexed in several different websites and databases. Obtaining a quick and reliable removal may seem impossible if you don’t have the technical know-how to do so on your own. That’s why there exist certain reputable and trusted services that specialize in mugshot removals. Using their services, you can have your individual mug shots removed in a timely, efficient manner. When considering which service to use, you should look for several important factors: speed of removal (how long it will take to remove the mugshot online), all the websites they are familiar with removing, cost of service (to be reasonable), success rate (the percentage of successful removals versus unsuccessful ones) as well as customer support (in case you need added assistance). The value of a reputable mugshot removal service is that they save you time by tracking down each website containing your mugshot individually, ensuring none were missed in the process. Doing this yourself would take hours, days, or even months – depending on the number of places it is listed. By choosing one of these services, you can rest assured that the task is being handled properly from start to finish – so that you don’t end up with perpetual reminders everywhere!

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