Mugshot Publications

Publishing Mugshots – What’s Legal And What’s Not

We live in an age where almost everything is available online. Hence, we are now used to meeting someone new, and almost instantly typing that person’s name into a search engine to see what comes up. It is possible, during one of those searches, that a mugshot will suddenly appear, regardless of whether or not that person has a criminal record. Today, entire websites are actually dedicated to finding these mugshots and arrest details, again without consideration of the outcome of this. So is this legal?

 

Unfortunately, the law is incredibly complex. It is not illegal per se to post a mugshot. This is because all police actions are a matter of public record. However, what is illegal is that many of these companies give people the opportunity to pay them in order to have the booking photos removed. Many people believe that this is a form of extortion and blackmail, and it has in turn given rise to a legislator and court interest.

 

The Business of Publishing Mugshots

 

When the police take a mugshot, this is kept for their own records. In some situations, the local police department may then place this on their website as well, albeit only for a few days. However, in recent years, a number of commercial companies have started that trawl the internet in an effort to find arrest records and mugshots, and then post them online.

 

All of these commercial companies claim that they are there to protect the public by empowering people to know who they are in contact with, or who lives on their block. But in reality, these companies are simply out to make money because they hope that the people who are listed on their website will pay them to have their images removed. This can quickly become very expensive, as the mugshots and records can be listed in many different places.

 

The Emergence of Mugshot Removal Companies

 

Some websites aim to prove that they are ethical by removing any information for free if the person can show that they were not charged following the arrest, or were exonerated. However, they often do not provide details on exactly how they do this. Meanwhile, the existence of these types of websites has, in turn, given rise to other commercial companies that help individuals have their mugshots removed.

 

In a number of states, for instance in Utah, new laws have made it easier to have information removed, and have made it illegal to post pictures as well. Oregon, meanwhile, makes it illegal for websites to charge people to have the information removed if the incident did not result in a conviction, was expunged, or was reduced to a violation. Unfortunately, many of the websites that list this information are based in foreign countries, such as Pakistan or Russia, which means US law is not applicable to them.

 

A number of solutions have been put in place. First of all, a range of online payment gateways, including PayPal, now refuse to process payments to mugshot websites. Google, meanwhile, has changed its algorithm so that a mugshot no longer is the top result on their page. A class action lawsuit in Connecticut has been started by people who have had their conviction expunged, or who were not convicted at all. They claim that holding this type of information on record is classed as defamation of character, which means that an individual’s reputation is damaged as a result of false information. The state of Florida agrees with this particular class action lawsuit, and they are in the process of debating a bill that would force records to be updated by taking down mugshots of people who were not convicted of a crime after their arrest.

 

Another lawsuit focuses on the right to publicity, which is an individual right. Essentially, individuals are allowed to have full control over how their image is used commercially, preventing others from earning money from it. Lastly, some people are claiming that these websites are engaged in extortion and blackmail because they require payment in order to have negative information removed.

 

Unfortunately, until these cases are resolved, and until federal laws are put in place across the board, companies that list mugshots, arrest information, and criminal records are not breaking the law. This is why the best solution at present is to make use of companies that are dedicated to removing this type of information not just from the commercial websites but also from the search results. While this does cost money, it is a lot more affordable than starting a lawsuit, particularly if the information is listed on multiple websites, or that having them individually removed by the various sites.

A Mugshot Doesn’t Make You a Criminal

A Mugshot Doesn’t Make You a Criminal

We live in a society that likes to judge people for their mistakes. Unfortunately, it is easy to get arrested for minor charges in the US, however some states are stricter than others, a minor mistake could lead to a mugshot and the same treatment as a common criminal.

We’re going to explore some of the key differences between crime across the US and the consequences of that.

Some States are Stricter than others about Mugshots

Driving violations are some of the most common offenses across the country. Arizona is an example of a state that treats drivers extremely harshly. In fact, Arizona has some of the strictest DUI laws in the country, with an 83% surcharge applied to speeding tickets.

Take the possession of marijuana as another example. California has completely decriminalized the possession of marijuana. Say you forget to check your car and drive in Arizona, you run the risk of facing criminal charges!

These are just two of the differences that we have between states.

Does it make someone a criminal when the laws differ 2 miles away?

Racial Bias Comes into It

It is a common notion that law enforcement allegedly holds racial bias within certain demographic groups and lower income levels.

Read here on how speeding tickets are issued in Florida. Fines increase from going 9 to 10 mph over the speed limit. Many officers will cut you a break to avoid higher fines.

However, a study indicated that black drivers are 3.8% less likely and Hispanic drivers are 14.8% less likely to be issued a speeding ticket at the 9mph threshold.

Let’s take another example from New York City.

Over a third of the city is made up of whites yet only 9% of them were arrested for low-level marijuana possession. Now compare this with Blacks and Hispanics, which make up 86% of arrests, even though they make up less than half of New York City.

And studies have shown no difference between how much the different races smoke pot.

There’s a serious disparity and it demonstrates how society judges based on stereotypes, particularly in the police force.

 

Last Word – Tread Carefully

We all need to be aware of these perceptions if we’re going to change the way the justice system works in the US.

 

 

Removing Mugshots and Remove Arrest Data

Removing Mugshots and Remove Arrest Data

 

Removing Mugshots – After an arrest, records are kept by the county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, and those records will continue to exist for life. They are also publicly accessible. However, with the advent of the internet, a number of companies have started that allow people to simply enter the name of someone they are interested in, and instantly find all of the arrest information for that particular person. This can be incredibly damaging to that person’s reputation and while those websites state that the information cannot be used to make decisions, that is exactly how it is used.

Erase Mugshots is a company that has dedicated itself to helping people who are affected by their arrest information being available online. They believe that people can make mistakes, and it is down to the judiciary system to determine how they should repay their debt to society. Once they have done so, they should have the opportunity to move on with their lives with a fresh start. Someone who has been arrested has the opportunity to ask all the different websites individually to remove that record. However, removing mugshots is time-consuming, as well as incredibly expensive.

The Erase Mugshots Process

Erase Mugshots, meanwhile, has an online database in which some 300 different online mugshots companies are listed. When someone contacts them to have their mugshots removed, they start by searching this database to instantly see the sites where the information is listed. They then get to work to have them removed. Their work doesn’t stop there, however. They also make sure that any links to the information, for instance on Google, Yahoo!, and Bing, are removed as well. The company is incredibly proud of the fact that they can do this within 72 hours. Additionally, they are so sure that they can do what they set out to do, that they offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Furthermore, if a link reappears down the line, they will remove it for free.

 

Why Use Erase Mugshots for Removing Mugshots

Many people question why they should have to use a site like Erase Mugshots since they feel that this is something an attorney should do instead. While there is some truth in that, attorneys are not trained in dealing with the world of online listings or linking. As such, while they are certainly capable of contacting the different companies to have the information removed, it is unlikely that they will be able to find all of the listings, and that they understand how to have the information removed from the search engines as well. Furthermore, attorney’s fees are incredibly steep, particularly when considering they are paid by the hour. Interestingly, when attorneys are asked to perform this job, they often turn to Erase Mugshots to have it done for them.

Many people also feel that, if they were found not guilty, or their record was dismissed, sealed, or expunged, it should not be available online. Unfortunately, this only true for official government agencies. There are very few laws surrounding how third-party commercial businesses can use this information, even if it is for profit. There are also no laws on when and how commercial websites should update their information. An added difficulty is that many of the websites are found in other countries, such as Russia or Pakistan, which means that US laws do not apply to them.

Unfortunately, under the Freedom of Information Act, companies are allowed to show arrest information, mugshots, and more. Having this information removed is not a right, but rather a request and companies have the choice of whether or not to oblige that request. Erase Mugshots is there to make sure that those companies do indeed honor that request.

 

Mugshot Removal? How Much Does It Cost?

Naturally, there is a cost involved with the work that EraseMugshots that is able to do. This cost will vary depending on the individual, and on how many sites have published the arrest information. However, the company is happy to provide a free, no obligation estimate. Additionally, they offer a free mugshot removal analysis, which means people can already get an idea of how much work will need to be done. Furthermore, since the company offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and that they guarantee that any reappearing links will be removed for free, they offer fantastic value for money, above and beyond what any lawyer could offer.

Being arrested is a black mark on anyone’s record and one that everybody would like to have removed. Full removal is not possible, as these are public records that have to remain on file. However, they should not be listed on hundreds of commercial websites that hope to make money out of the misfortune of others.