11 Common Questions and Answers About Mugshots Texas

March 16, 2021

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In theory, mugshots help law enforcement identify past or repeating offenders. Officials may also use mugshots to help victims identify an assailant. But, when individuals have a photographic record or mugshot Texas found online – even before they’re convicted of a crime – it can cause damage to their reputation, employment, and personal life.

Here, we answer important questions on how to keep your Texas mugshot off of public or private websites. We also show you how to prevent serious and permanent damage to your reputation and remove your mugshot fast.

Q&A Mugshots Texas – What you need to know

Are mugshots public record in Texas?

Following your arrest, the criminal justice system records your personal information, description and fingerprints. Officials also take your mugshot (a part of the booking process). As required by the Texas Public Information Act, a person’s arrest record (including your mugshot) is public record. And, public records are accessible to all US citizens.

But, what happens when the state dismisses the charges – or finds you innocent of the crime? Well, a simple internet search will still reveal your mugshot. Unfortunately, you are subject to hardships simply because their Texas mugshot is still online.

Renting an apartment, obtaining a loan, finding employment, or even getting a date can all be impossible with a mugshot online.

Will my mugshot go away after the charges are dismissed?

If you have criminal charges dismissed, the police department will still have a photographic record of you. And, sometimes police departments may have published your mugshot on one of their law enforcement websites. Legally, they should remove your photo when you’re no longer under investigation or have been cleared of charges.

The problem is this: third-party websites or the search engines like Google may still feature your mugshot on the web. They are under no legal obligation to follow your case or remove your mugshot from their website. And, it is a daunting task to contact every webmaster of all these sites to remove your Texas mugshot.

Can I remove a mugshot from Google, Bing, or Yahoo?

Yes. You can remove your mugshot from search engines. But first, you need to find all search engine records of your picture and arrest record. Then, you can visit each website’s Contact Us page and provide the information that proves the mugshot is yours. The documentation may include a lawful expungement or proof the court dropped the charges.

Often, the easiest way to remove all instances of your mugshots Texas is to hire a professional mugshot removal service. These companies specialize in mugshot and arrest records removal. It doesn’t matter if the charges were dropped, expunged or dismissed. These experts can help remove Google results and go after websites refusing to take down your mugshot.

How do I find and remove old mugshots for free?

You can find and remove old mugshots for free. But remember that some mugshots Texas are easier to find than others.

Here is a list of the places or people to contact to start the removal process:

  • The police department or county sheriff’s office that arrested you
  • Any local news sources that reported on the individual’s crime and posted their mugshot
  • if it was a white-collar crime, you might also find a mugshot posted on the Federal Bureau of Prisons website
  • Make an FOIA request through the Freedom of Information Act to contest records held by law enforcement agencies

Depending on the agency and employees involved, it may be difficult to remove a mugshot from public record. Remember, you need detailed information on the person. This information may include the person’s full name, date of birth, social security number, driver’s license number and more.

You may also need detailed information on the nature of the particular crime, including date and location.

Do mugshot guidelines vary by city or county in Texas?

Yes. Everything depends on the city or county in question, as well as the unique process for accessing mugshots. All Texas criminal records are available through the Texas Department of Public Safety website for a small fee. But, these records may not include a mugshot of the individual. Some smaller counties in Texas keep booking photos accessible to the public only by written request.

Some counties publish Texas mugshots online only after the person is convicted. Most of the larger cities and counties in Texas do publish the names and booking photos of all suspects, even before the conviction takes place.

Can online mugshots Texas keep me from getting a job?

In Texas, employers may conduct background checks on job applicants. These typically include both a criminal background check and a credit check. This is because companies can face future legal trouble when they hire workers that have been convicted of crimes like property damage, assault, and of course theft. The bad news is that an employer may find your mugshot even if no conviction took place. And, they may use it as an excuse to not hire you.

While federal and state laws may restrict the release of criminal records, especially those with no conviction – every company has the right to set its own hiring policies. If you have an online mugshot and a criminal record, this could affect your ability to become gainfully employed.

Also remember, many employees do their own Google search on potential employees. So, any social media posts, negative information, and photos associated with your name and state may easily be found.

What is a petition for non-disclosure?

One of the actions that can be taken to clear your name and digital footprint is to file a petition for non-disclosure. This is basically a court order that prevents public entities such as police departments, sheriff’s office, and courts from releasing certain criminal records – including your mugshot. This can be helpful if you have a criminal record, but there are restrictions to how and when it can be used:

  • This is an option if you have completed all court requirements and have been placed on deferred adjudication
  • Minor misdemeanor offenders may be eligible to file immediately following their deferral period.
  • More serious misdemeanors may require you to wait 2 years after completion of your deferral period.
  • If convicted of certain felony offenses, you must wait 5 years from the completion of the deferral period

A deferral period is that time after the defendant has completed probation and the sentence is suspended. But, all stipulations handed down by a judge must be fulfilled for the deferral to take effect. Afterward, the conviction, sentence, and guilty plea can be thrown out.

If I expunge offense my record, will it delete my mugshot?

If your offense is expunged, that means the courts have ordered your personal data concerning the case to be erased from record. Not even law enforcement agencies should be able to find your information for a case that has been expunged. The only times your record and mugshot are expunged from public record is when you are found not guilty of the offense or your case was dismissed without any stipulations for probation or court-ordered supervision.

All public documents of the offense held by government agencies should be destroyed once a judge grants you an expungement. But, will all instances of your mugshot be deleted from online websites. Not necessarily!

There are many mugshot distribution companies that make money by posting mugshots. Then they charge these innocent people a fee to have the mugshot removed from their private website.

Do mugshot removal services really work?

Yes, there are online mugshot removal services that offer to contact all the websites that have your Texas mugshot posted to have them removed altogether. Posting criminal records, mugshots, and other negative information that can ruin a person’s reputation have become a big business. Across the nation, victims are bilked out of thousands of dollars to remove old mugshots from the internet.

Then you must consider the reputable companies that serve a need by gathering and making available arrest records, mugshots, and court records. For instance, during a court case you many need the details of an offender. In these cases, public records can help victims locate, identify, and prosecute their assailants.

Contact a mugshot removal service like EraseMugshots.com. They are experts on removing Google results that expose mugshots that should be not be posted online or should have been deleted. We can find arrest records and mugshots and keep them from ever appearing online in the future.

Contact the EraseMugshots Removal Team to learn more about our complete mugshot removal services.

 

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