Mugshot Removal – How To Get Your Mugshot Removed

When you get arrested and are booked into jail, there are a number of procedures that you’ll have to go through, one of them being getting your ‘mugshot’ taken. A mugshot, or booking photograph, is the picture that the police take to identify you. Two photos are taken: one full face and one profile. Also, you will be issued a booking number that is included on the mugshot, along with your name.

Where Your Mugshot Can End Up

As well as being kept on file at the jail, your mugshot can end up in any number of places. Your mugshot is a matter of public record and anyone can get a copy of it from the jail database.

  • Mugshots are public record.

Quite often, your local newspaper or TV station will use a copy of your mugshot if they report on the crime, and it will be archived in their records online. There are even so called ‘mugshot websites’, such as mugshots(dot)com that specifically post your picture for no other reason than pure entertainment and advertising. A cheap newspaper called ‘The Slammer’, which is sold at gas stations and convenience stores, exists solely to publish a round-up of all local mugshots, often with humorous captions. One of the largest ‘mugshot websites’ in the US is florida.arrests(dot)org, featuring over 4 million pictures. Even if your case was dismissed, your mugshot is still out there, and it could still show up online.

Places Your Mugshot Can Be Posted

  • The jail website.
  • Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
  • In newspapers.
  • On TV.
  • On ‘mugshot websites’.
  • In mugshot newspapers like ‘The Slammer’.

How To Get Your Mugshot Removed

You can try to get your mugshot removed from official sources such as the jail you were booked into, but it can be very difficult. Public records are exactly that – public. Firstly, you will have to file a ‘Petition to Expunge’. Basically, this means that your record is sealed, and removed from public records. Your arrest will still remain on record, but no-one will be able to access the information. Contact the state’s Justice Department, and request the paperwork to file a petition to expunge. Once filed, the department that processed your case will make a decision. This is a lengthy procedure, and a lot of cases will be denied. There are state laws that determine exactly which type of cases can be expunged, and even then, it is down to a judge to make the final decision.

Important

  • File a ‘Petition to Expunge’ with the courts to get your mugshot sealed, effectively removing it.

Mugshot Removal Services

There are a number of businesses and online services that offer to get your mugshot deleted from public record, but it can be costly, and not necessarily very effective. One of these companies is RemoveSlander(dot)com. They claim that among other things, they can force Google to remove your picture from their search index. This service will set you back $399. In addition to RemoveSlander, there are a number of websites that offer the same service, ranging in price from $129 (RemoveArrest(dot)com) to $1,250 (hidemymugshot(dot)com). The problem is, none of these companies will let you know exactly what method they use to remove your mugshot, nor can you be sure that they will be 100% successful. Some people say that these mugshot removal services may be directly associated with the mugshot sites, and these people argue that what they’re doing could be considered extortion.

There is a company out there that 100% guarantees that your picture will be removed from all the major search engines: internetreputation(dot)com. They claim that once removed, your digital mugshot will only be available through the jail’s database.

PrisonHandbook.com does not endorse any of the websites or services listed here.  We strongly suggest that you do your own additional research into any company that you decide to use, to make sure you know what you are getting.  A good place to start would be reading this article from Wired Magazine:  Wired Magazine Article on Mugshot Removal Services

Another bit of essential reading on this subject is the story of a Fort Worth, TX man who is working to uncover the connections between the mugshot companies and the mugshot removal services, as well as pushing for changes to the law that would outlaw the posting of mugshots: Fort Worth Weekly

The choice is up to you as to whether you want to use the services of a mugshot removal company, but you should make sure you know who you’re dealing with, and research and consider other options. Another option that may prove just as effective is to hire an attorney to pursue a lawsuit against the websites to get your mugshot removed.

Currently, only a number of states publicly display your mugshot:

  • Florida
  • Texas
  • Alabama
  • Oregon
  • Arizona
  • North Carolina
  • Illinois
  • New Jersey

This page was last updated on October 12, 2017 @ 7:39 AM EST.

Comments

  1. Deleting my mugshot says:

    I am one of the unfortunate people who has their mugshot on one of these blackmailing sites. I spoke to my lawyer who told me it will be cheaper and easier to just use one of these services rather than try and take legal action to get my picture removed. I called reputation repairer and they say they 100% guarantee their service or money back, so I’m considering just biting the bullet and getting this mugshot problem taken care of once and for all. Doing as much research as I can before that but it seems like this is the only route. I will report back with results if I end up using the service.

  2. amanda s. says:

    i want my info off their web sites. i cant even look at MY INFO F*CK THAT dude ain’t right

  3. tim says:
  4. Jacki says:

    Adjudification was withheld on my case and I contacted the company that displayed my mugshot. They asked me to send them a certified copy of the disposition of my case where it stated adjudification withheld, which I obtained from the Clerk of Court in the county where I was charged. I sent this to the mugshots company and within a week they had removed my mugshot.

  5. Mateo says:

    I’m from Texas and I visited Tampa, FL back in 2010 for a week long vacation. My friend was driving a rental car, I was a rear passenger along with 4 others in the car. We were stopped due to the driver speeding. The officer noticed a beer can under the passenger front seat. He said that because my feet were closest to the beer can, that I would be taking responsibility for the “open container” (and I don’t drink!!). I always heard that in Texas, you won’t go to jail if you don’t sign a traffic citation, since signing it simply is a promise to appear in traffic/munincipal court… I told the officer that I had no reason to sign that ticket since I don’t drink, and another being the can did not belong to me. He laughed, and said to place my hands behind my back, and that I was under arrest. I couldn’t believe it, I then told him I would sign the citation. He laughed again, and said I should had thought of that the first time I was asked to. I tried to explain with no success at him letting me go. I was transferred to two different jails in the process, which took almost 24 hours. They published my picture, address (to the nearest block) of where I reside, name, date of birth, weight, height, and offense (which was failure to sign traffic citation). Surprisingly, Florida takes this type of “crime” very seriously! I had to get a “PR Bond” to get out, and still to this day I have not been able to return to Florida to take care of this absurd charge that I must schedule a court date. I have found my picture & info on probably 15 different websites and it’s sickening how one website just sells people’s info to more & more websites. Don’t like to see my name & personal info in search engines at anyone’s convenience!!

  6. J.S. says:

    Everyone,

    If Charlie Sheen, Linday Lohan or Gary Busey can’t pay enugh money to hide their mugshots, what makes you think throwing money at it will make a difference? It’s unfortunate that unflattering or unfavorable circumstances have led to these photos becoming public record, but own up to it. I’ve had mine thrown around my small town and the gas stations around the county on one of these magazines. Small towns like mine where most of the people can’t read, but they sure can find your photo to talk about at the local coffee shop. I felt for my wife and children, could care less about its impact on me. I couldn’t convince these money makers to consider my family’s turmoil. They dont care about your story or the curcumstances. My advice would be to own up and take responsibility for your crime. Turn it into a positive. If there is one thing people like more than a tragedy it’s a underdog story or recovery story. If at all possible turn your story into a positive. If it’s a DUI or drug related incident, get detoxed and attend psycho therapy. Then tell your story in the local paper, church or community center so that others may benefit from your experience. It’s real hard for anyone to turn a success story or a heartfelt message for others in the community to seek help into anything negative. These are just ideas until they are put into action. Negative actions are what got you here, put enough positive actions on your resume to outweigh and eventually wash away the past. Effort invested this way would be far more rewarding than throwing money away. Please forgive the typos and ND grammatical errors. I’m just not good at typing on smartphones. Good luck.

  7. Anonymous says:

    You need to include Colorado on your list of states that post mugshots too. Plus there’s a Facebook page that parts mugshots from a lot more states than you have listed. My case was dismissed in court but I still have to pay to get my mugshot removed, it’s disgraceful and extortion. Something needs to be done about these criminal websites that show mugshots, public record or not, it’s blackmail. Why should someone have to pay to have their mugshot removed when the case was dismissed due to false accusations?? Those mugshot websites are the real criminals, some of them charge $500 to remove your mugshot from their website come on really?? You end up paying them that kind of money for something they got for free to extract a massive profit out of someone and pour even more humiliation over a person. The courts really need to take action and shut these blackmailers down in all states, not just some!!!

  8. Desperate says:

    Please any help on how to remove a mugshot from bailbondcity.com please help me

  9. deborah says:

    I have a mug shot from some 20 years ago I didn’t know there were nasty people who would stoop so low as to blackmail someone I am gonna get my mug shot removed if it is the last thing I do

    • Renee says:

      So someone that knows you and wants to try and humiliate you are the ones who post these mug shots in those type websites?

  10. Melinda says:

    It should only be removed if your innocent. Sorry you break the law mug shots come with it .just my oppinuion.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Wow: USA prides themselves in being a forgiving and compassionate country. A person may go to jail and complete all the requirements put on them for the charge-yet it never goes away. NO!!! Do you remember the book “The Scarlet Letter” we had to read in high school. The main character who was charged with adultry had to wear the letter “A” on her forehead and everyone knew of her crime. Today, our great country who prides themselves on progress is even worse than the 1800′s. Our public record’s and internet does not allow anyone any privacy. You cannot never live down your past. Yes, we are a truly forgiving nation-what a JOKE!!!!!

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