Mugshots and booking photos can be a big deal for people who have been arrested or are in the process of applying for jobs, housing, or seeking educational opportunities. A mugshot can create a negative image of the person it depicts that can harm their reputation.
Laws About Mugshots in the United States
Several states prohibit the posting of mugshots online and have also passed laws that prevent companies from charging fees to remove these pictures. However, a number of sites that post mugshots and charge to remove them still exist.
The problem with these sites is that they profit from mugshot removal. These sites search the Internet for mugshots of those who have been charged with crimes or arrested and then post them on their own websites. This practice is considered high-tech extortion of individuals who haven’t been convicted of a crime, only accused, and it is illegal in many states.
There are two types of mugshot laws that have been adopted by various state legislatures, the first of which protects those who are cleared or exonerated from being published online. The second law allows law enforcement to release mugshots, but only when there is an emergency need for the public to see them.
Both of these laws have created a gray area in the way that public records are handled. This is because some courts may allow a record to remain online even after a criminal case has been closed and an individual has had their criminal record expunged or sealed.
How to Get Mugshots Removed Online
If this is the case, then an individual can simply contact the search engines and ask that their mugshot be suppressed. This will result in the mugshot appearing only in a subset of search results and will likely be buried far down in those search results.
In order to get a mugshot removed from the web, the individual must be able to show that they have been harmed by their criminal history and that the information is damaging their reputation. This can be done through a legal representative or by submitting a letter to the websites that have posted the mugshot.
Hiring a Mugshot Removal Lawyer
The best way to ensure your mugshot is permanently erased from the Internet is to have it taken down by a legal company that specializes in online reputation repair and content removal. These lawyers will send threatening letters to the website that has posted your mugshot and request that it be removed.
Some people find it difficult to remove their mugshots from the web themselves, and this is because the process can be very time consuming and may not be as simple as a single letter. It is a good idea to hire a legal expert who can provide you with a free consultation and help you understand the process and costs involved in removing your mugshot.
Getting your mugshot removed can be a long and difficult process, but it is important to do so as soon as possible to avoid further damage to your reputation. A good lawyer will be able to help you navigate the process and work with the search engines to remove your mugshot.