Editors Note: This blog has been revised to reflect accurate information for 2018.
If you’ve ever been arrested, chances are good that your mugshot is online somewhere, complete with your name and potentially other personal information. This isn’t illegal. In fact, the Freedom of Information Act, and similar policies make legal documents such as mugshots public. And, what’s worse, there is little one can do about it.
Requesting the removal of your mugshot from Google sounds easy, but is usually an extremely lengthy process. Most people have no idea how to remove mugshots from the internet, and the endeavor often requires an expert team or legal aid to successfully scrub a mugshot from the search results.
A mugshot in the search results for your name can prevent you from getting job offers, promotions, scholarships, investors, quality talent for your business and even a spouse. For one man, who received a minor charge which he later had expunged from his court record, it did just that. His mugshot appeared on sites such as Mugshots.com whenever he googled his name. The negative information was impacting his ability to graduate and eventually earn a living.
“After I got it expunged I thought it was pretty much a done deal,” he told Stateline, a publication of The Pew Charitable Trusts. “It wasn’t right. I called [Mugshots.com] on the phone, and they told me basically the only way I could get the mugshot to come down was to pay a certain fine. Proof of expunction wasn’t valid.”
The Internet Reputation team have helped many clients in similar situations. If your mugshot is appearing on google searches, there is a good chance it is on countless mugshot databases across the web.
The good news is, we can help. We've created a page (seen here) on the importance of not having your mugshots appear in search results, and how it can ruin your reputation or stop you from being hired for a new job opportunity. And we’ve also created a strategy that helps solve the problem.
Why Are Sites Posting My Mugshot in The First Place?
As if getting arrested and having your picture taken at an incredibly stressful time wasn't bad enough, many arrestees face a daily reminder of the event on the internet.
This might sound like a cruel ploy to ruin your life, but there is a reason sites are posting mugshots and arrest records around the internet. Though it may seem unethical – and could go against Google's terms and conditions – arrest records and mugshots are considered public record.
The worst part is that many sites posting mugshots are also in the business of posting personal information and photos, and they make money by asking for steep removal fees.
Unfortunately, many of these sites are in the business of extortion, and it's likely they’d ignore these laws or run operations out of country regardless of the outcome. In 2013, Texas passed Senate Bill 1289, which prohibits websites from charging individuals a fee to remove their mug shots. The websites also have a duty to make sure other criminal history information is accurate.
Even with the law in place, however, many of these sites still require court records or legal counsel to successfully remove your mugshots.
That’s where we come in.
Our team has extensive experience with this process and we provide a complete list of sites where we have had tremendous success.
How to Get Your Mugshot Removed from Various Sites
With hundreds of mugshot sites on the internet, free removal is no easy task. The following options, however, can help you remove mugshots online for free or for a fee and protect your privacy:
- Visit the Site in Question
Look for the FAQ section, information regarding the removal process or how to contact the owner of the site. This often requires paying a fee.
- Notify the Site of Expungement
If you’ve had your record expunged, closing it to the public, it is worth contacting the site posting your mugshot and providing proof of expungement.
- Consult an Attorney
Just as you can hire injury and malpractice attorneys, you can enlist legal aid for mugshot removal. Results vary based on attorney experience and your individual situation.
- Use InternetReputation.com Services
With a proven track record for dealing with sites such as these, we know what process works best.
If you’d like to learn more about how to mitigate your mugshot results from Google and other internet sites, refer to our mugshot removal FAQ and call us at 1-888-591-0930 to set up a free consultation.
Protect your reputation online.