Is your mugshot online?
If it is, you have probably already discovered numerous problems. Having a mugshot online can make getting a new job challenging, even years after your mugshot was taken. Online mugshots can interfere with your ability to rent a home, get venture capital, and form new relationships. Some states like Florida will put your mugshot online almost as soon as you are arrested, and many newspapers still use recent mugshots as clickbait for their online editions.
There are some companies that make millions from posting your mugshots online and then charging you to take them down. We don’t recommend that anyone pay a ransom to defend their good name. Fourteen states have passed laws to keep companies from squeezing you to pay them to take down your mugshot.
One Sure Way to Remove Your Mugshots from Mugshots.com
The Internet hub for mugshots is the notorious mugshots.com. They draw thousands of visitors every day by posting “news stories” featuring photos and lurid details of people charged with crimes when they are arrested, not when they are tried. But they will remove your mugshot from their site if you can do one of two things:
- Show paperwork that you were never charged with the crime they posted on their site, or
- Show paperwork that your arrest and charge have been legally expunged.
How do you prove something never happened? You might have an order of habeas corpus releasing you from custody. You could have a statement from the police department that arrested you. Your statement that “they didn’t go ahead and charge me” won’t be enough.
Showing that your arrest record was expunged is more straight-forward. You just have to send them a pdf of the court order that removed your arrest from the court records, usually after you were found not guilty or the prosecutor decided not to proceed with your case. But getting a court, and a police department and a district attorney to sign off on your order of expungement is not usually a do-it-yourself project.
If you have the documents you need, mugshots.com will consider them. Be nice. They don’t have access to proof you only recently acquired. But they will insist on proof that your charge did not lead to trial.
A Not As Sure Way to Get Your Mugshot Out of Google Search Results
It can be tough to get your mugshot out of Google search results. Google takes the position that if something was ever public record, and every arrest is public record, then they have a right to index it forever even if it is expunged by the courts.
However, Google is all about providing the most relevant content, so you can provide them with more. Post photos of yourself with your name and a caption on a page around the Internet. Add HTML code to each photo that provides descriptive text for the visually impaired. Google likes that. Then let all your other photos shove your mugshot down to the second or third or later page of search results.
One way to do this is to create and promote a WordPress blog about the positive events of your life, with lots of photos. But choose your words carefully. They also get indexed forever.
A determined searcher can still find you, but it will take them some work. The upside to this approach is once you get your mugshot off the first page of Google, it also sinks in the search results of most social media sites.
If all this sounds complicated, it is.
You don’t have to go through mugshot removal online. When you are sure you want to go beyond how to remove a mugshot for free, we’re here to help.