A mugshot is a photograph of a person’s upper body, particularly the head taken by the police when arrested. The photograph is taken in two parts, the side view, and front view.
Mugshots and arresting information are posted on police websites and can be accessed by the public. A record of a mugshot can stay in the police database for a very long time, in some cases forever but this depends heavily on jurisdiction and circumstance.
In some cases, records of mugshots and arresting information can be destroyed or sealed if charges are dropped or there is no conviction. But until the records are sealed or destroyed mugshots can be accessed by journalists and other third parties including mugshot publishing companies that publish mugshots on their websites.
Currently, there are quite a number of mugshot publishing websites online such as findmugshots.com, mrmugshot.com, mugshot.com, unpublisharrest.com which is a sister site to mugshot.com. These companies usually charge a hefty sum for one’s mugshot to be taken down, unless the jurisdiction prohibits them to charge a fee if one requests for their mugshot to be taken down.
But this is also limited to the fact that you have to prove that your charges were dismissed or you were not convicted. Otherwise, most websites do charge a fee and a hefty one at that. And even after paying them, there is no guarantee that your mugshot will be taken down.
Paying a mugshot website to have your mugshot taken down is kind of a no-win situation because there are so many of these websites and you cannot possibly pay them all.
Plus there’s the unfortunate truth, the internet is forever. Even if your mugshot is removed from a mugshot publishing website, there is still a possibility of anyone at any time accessing it, after all these websites do keep records too.
Considering that there are companies that offer background checking services if someone needs to know about your criminal history if any. They can easily hire such a background checking company to dig up that information.
It could be a lover with trust issues, or someone trying to sabotage your job or relationships, perhaps even a potential employer. In any case, there are both positive and negative reasons as to why people carry out background checks on others.
Matter of fact background checking has become a common practice nowadays for employers. Many companies seek out background information about their employees or any candidates in the running for potential employment.
How these background searches are conducted is unique to every company, some seek out professional help, while others simply just do a google search. Now if you have your mugshot published by a mugshot publishing company, a google search of your name by a potential employer can be damning because your mugshot may show up in the google search.
Unfortunately, there is possibly no way you can protect your mugshot from being published online because these mugshot publishing companies access mugshots through law enforcement websites. Arrest information is a matter of public records and mugshot publishing companies take advantage of that.
There are also websites that offer to have one’s mugshots removed from anywhere in the web that they are made available. Such websites include erasemugshots.com and deletemymugshot.com. These websites claim that they rummage the internet and rid it of any mugshots of their client that are online.
Having to pay to have your mugshots removed from any of these mugshot publishing websites can be best described as extortion. Some of these websites charge as much as $500 to have a mugshot taken down.
If you feel exploited or are on the verge of being extorted by mugshot publishers, you can seek legal action. Over the years they have been a number of lawsuits against these mugshot publishers.
This has prompted the legislation of their operation in some jurisdictions. In some states, background publishing websites are not allowed to charge people who want their mugshots taken down from the website.
At the end of the day, no one wants their mugshot on the internet. It is embarrassing and degrading. It is in some cases a misrepresentation of one’s character, especially for those who were not convicted. Or whose charges were dropped for one reason or the other.