How to Find Peoples’ Mugshots
June 23, 2022 Uncategorized
Learn how to find peoples’ mugshots online and get them removed with our step-by-step guide.
It might seem strange to you that people go online specifically in search of mugshots, but there are actually some good reasons to conduct a search – besides curiosity.
HR conducts background checks when interviewing candidates for a company position. Employers want access to pertinent information to facilitate the hiring and decision-making process. They want to know if the person being considered for the job has a criminal record, arrest record, or has been accused of engaging in activities deemed inappropriate for a place of business? Finding the person’s name in a sex offender registry could certainly be considered a red flag, for example.
Property owners also conduct background checks of potential renters. With mugshots in the public record, a renter’s application may be rejected without any further inquiries into the circumstances as to why the mugshot exists.
Clearly, having a mugshot online is embarrassing and it brings a person’s character into question. In the bigger picture, it can have a serious impact on an individual’s ability to get a particular job, enter into business relationships, (as well as personal ones), or rent an apartment, home or secondary vacation property. Equally detrimental and devastating, mug shots can cause irreparable damage to one’s reputation, affecting every aspect of their lives.
Finding Mugshots, Arrest Records Online
Mug shots are accessible and part of public records with many law enforcement agencies (i.e., police departments) uploading these photos on their websites.
Ready to learn how to find peoples’ mugshots? It’s a lot easier than one might think.
If an individual has had an encounter with the local police department, was arrested, been subjected to booking photos at the police station, or had mug shots taken during the booking process, odds are these mug shots are not only available on the respective law enforcement sites, including the department of corrections website, but they have also been made public elsewhere.
Once officially arrested, the mugshot will likely become accessible to the public, whether or not the person admits guilt to any type of crime. To make matters even worse, charges and convictions don’t have to be filed for the mugshot to appear online.
Finding a person’s mugshot online poses several questions for the person conducting a background check:
- What was the arrest for?
- Was the individual formally charged or exonerated?
- Does the individual have prior offenses?
It certainly invites having to do some in-depth due diligence before hiring, entering into a business (or personal) relationship with someone, or putting your trust in someone before knowing all of the facts about them, including any history of having criminal charges filed against them.
Finding My Own Mugshot Online
If you go to your local law enforcement agency website or the state department site, and type in your name and other pertinent information, you should be able to — within the mugshot search — access your photo online along with information regarding your arrest. It’s that simple. What’s more, an entire detailed report can be made available in as little as five minutes as a part of the records.
In addition to law enforcement and other government agencies posting mugshots, a number of for-profit websites will painstakingly search for arrest records and look for mugshots of people with or without a criminal history and then post them on their own sites. This happens to celebrities all of the time, due to the fascination of fans. It also happens to politicians and executives due to their high-profile status.
Exposing these public records has become big business for these mugshot websites, which then profit by charging for the removal (when they can) of the mug shots. States have different laws in place to aid in protecting people, especially law-abiding citizens, in an attempt to prevent these sites from charging fees for removal of the photos.
A Google Search Can Reveal Pertinent Information
You can do a Google search in order to locate and access criminal records just as easily as you can find mugshots and other pertinent information via a site directory. There’s also a sex offender registry that will show people charged as sex offenders for sex crimes, where you can view the perpetrator’s mugshot. You can access this type of information via the public records office, as well.
If you’re in the state of California, for instance, you could start by accessing California public records which you can find online. Many jurisdictions have similar services available to the public, but you should realize that there are often different laws in different states as to how they handle the dissemination of this information with regard to the public record.
If a person with a criminal record requires a copy of their record for any purposes, they can visit the California Department of Justice in person and submit fingerprint images along with a $25 processing fee. If they wish to perform a free public criminal record check, then they must apply for a fee waiver.
Mug Shots Don’t Equal Guilt
Once you enact an internet search and you find any mugshots, or other personal details and vital records concerning an individual that presents a red flag in your mind, you can make an informed decision about how pertinent the information is to you and what impact, if any, that it has on your desire to enter into a relationship — be it business, or a personal one, with this individual.
It’s important to be objective regarding the subject of your search. What was the nature of the arrest, and how does it impact your decision about this individual? Were they exonerated, or did they face a criminal trial, and did they end up on an inmate roster? The answer to some of these questions can be obtained through an inmate search tool on inmate locator sites.
Mugshot Sites Do More Harm Than Good
While many of these sites claim to be working under the guise of protectors of public safety, whose stated intention is to aid in flushing out criminals, they often search millions of websites and post mugshots to make money by charging people (again, in the states where it is still legal) for the removal of these images. Those that don’t charge to remove the photo make money off of advertisers on their sites.
Even when a mugshot site does remove a person’s booking photo, that isn’t to say that the same picture will not be available elsewhere online during a mugshot search. Fortunately, there are companies that will legitimately help people with their online reputational damage, and for a fee, will aid them in removing mug shots.
This is particularly important for those exonerated or not charged with any crime. Often, you see scammers intentionally wanting to damage the reputation of those in powerful or important positions regardless of whether their charges are dismissed or they were able to win a favorable decision in court.
Freedom of Information Act Request
If, for some reason, the information you want is not publicly available, you can submit a Freedom Of Information Act request (FOIA) to the agency’s FOIA Office. The request must be made in writing and give a detailed description of the records and information you seek.
The FOIA provides that, when processing requests, agencies should withhold information if that disclosure would potentially harm an interest protected by an exemption. This also holds true if such disclosure is prohibited by law. Law enforcement agencies should faithfully determine whether partial disclosure of information is possible in cases where full disclosure is not possible. In such instances, they should take reasonable steps to segregate and release nonexempt information.
Reputational Damage Can Have Lingering Effects
For someone falsely accused, or wrongly incarcerated, with no criminal records, having a mugshot online or coming up in a prisoner search for all to see can be a life-changing experience. Having mugshots online and failing to get them removed has a devastating impact on a person’s life including their reputation.
Criminal records and arrest records can possibly stay with a person for the rest of their lives. A background check can unearth a lot of negative information about a person, and not all of it may be true. Given the fact that it’s so easy to find mugshots online through any simple mugshot search as part of the public record, means that, until the person is able to remove the mugshot via a reputable source, they will carry the burden of having to prove that the image on display does not accurately portray the person that they are.
Removal of Negative Images (Mugshots)
Removing Mugshots from Google Results
An individual can try and reach out to the webmaster to remove the mugshot but that may not work out. You can contact Google to suppress the mugshot search, but the reasons behind your request must be in accordance with Google’s legal terms. If Google agrees, images and content will no longer show up in online searches.
You can check to see if this was done, by typing ‘find my mugshot’ to see if any images still materialize. You might also want to do a mugshot search of your local department of corrections website to ascertain whether or not any negative information remains in their database of official records.
Or, even better, more effective and practical, you can use a professional online reputational management (ORM) firm with experience in conducting a mugshot search and working on a strategy for removal of the photo and related negative content from search.
Having Your Record Expunged
Some individuals may opt to file a petition with the court asking for the arrest record made by the police department, local sheriff, or other law enforcement agencies, and any other records to be expunged or sealed.
If successful, you would then send the order of expungement to the website with your photo in order to have your mugshot taken down so it doesn’t show up in a future search. This, however, can be a time-consuming process, and, again, perhaps better left to a reputable company that has experience dealing with such matters. Whether or not any charges have been dropped, dismissed, expunged, or even in a case where a person was found guilty, they’re likely better off getting professional help with the removal of arrest records and mug shots, not only from websites that may feature such information but also from social media sites where these images may also be displayed.
Let the Pros Help
Getting mugshots and criminal records removed from any future searches means no longer having to explain their presence online to any potential employers or business associates. An online reputational management service provider will perform a comprehensive reputation assessment and explain the process step-by-step. The goal is find any information that exists online pertaining to an arrest, including mugshot photos and booking and arrest records, and remove them from any and all existing sites.
Contact RemoveMugshots to Learn More
Is an embarrassing mugshot standing in the way of your goals? Contact RemoveMugshots.com today to learn more or to receive a free analysis.