How to Find My Mugshot Online Quickly and Easily!
What is a Mugshot?
A mugshot is a detailed picture taken of a person when they are being arrested and brought into custody. It usually includes a side profile of the individual as well as a front-facing picture. The first time a mugshot became standard practice when arresting someone was in France in 1888 and it spread around the world as a new norm when dealing with people who are arrested. In 2021, essentially every law enforcement agency around the world uses mugshots and keeps them on a database that is shared within a country as well as between countries if and when necessary.
The etymology of mugshot comes from the British slang “mug” which means face, and shot, which refers to a picture. Mugshots are commonly used by law enforcement to keep a record of what a criminal looks like as well as use it in cases to find criminals, issue warrants, wanted posters, and warnings to the public.
Are Mugshots Public Record?
In 1966 The Freedom of Information Act was passed, and government offices both state and federal have to provide access to anything that is considered public record. Vital records are available to the public including birth certificates, marriage certificates, and death certificates. In the United States, things related to criminal activity have been very transparent in order to protect law-abiding citizens.
In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act and the tendency to be transparent in matters regarding public safety, criminal records, mug shots, and other information are also a matter of public record, and anyone who has the savvy to find these records may access them. While in the past one would have to physically go to a courthouse or jailhouse to access criminal records and mugshots, the technology of our age allows the majority of these records to be found online.
How to Find My Mugshot?
There are a number of ways where your own, or someone else’s mugshot online. The first way to find mugshot pictures is by checking the police station in which you were held. Many prisons and jails have an inmate roster or an inmate search tool which may include mug shots. You will need to go to the website of the jail or prison and locate the roster. The roster can usually be found in the site directory at the bottom of the website. Once you have located the roster, you can search by first and last name in order to find the person you are looking for.
If the crime committed was newsworthy, many news outlets will cover the story and use the perpetrator’s mugshot as an image within the article. Running an internet search with a search engine like Google and Bing may turn up the results you need. Search for your full name, the city in which you were arrested, and your mugshot to get more accurate results.
A third way to look for your mugshot is through the State Department of Corrections inmate locator tool. You will need more information in order to search due to the greater number of inmates within the pool as it includes the entire state, not just one prison/jail. When you locate the Department of Corrections website of the state in which you were in prison one of the main tabs will be marked “inmate locator”, follow the search steps and you may find the mugshot next to the inmate profile.
If these methods do not work, you can check the websites of the local sheriff and police department where the arrest took place. Most of these websites do not make mug shots public, but if previous methods fail, it can be helpful to try this option.
The final option to find a mugshot online is using a 3rd party website. There are a number of sites where you can pay a small fee and have access to anyone’s mugshot if it is contained in a public record. These sites aggregate millions of public records and make them accessible online. Instead of going into a public records office, you can pay a monthly subscription or a one-time fee and access the records you need directly from your computer.
Find Mugshots is also a site dedicated solely to helping people locate mugshots. You will need to search by name and state, and you will be able to see the watermarked mugshot of the person you are looking for if it is available. You will also be able to see basic information about the arrest, this includes the reason for the arrest, the date it occurred, the physical attributes of the arrested person, and the arrest charges. You can also browse by state if you don’t have the name of the person whose mugshot you are looking for.
The only purpose of this site is to find someone's mug shot, you search by name and state in order to narrow the results of your search. Once you locate the person you are looking for, you need to click “get report” after which you will need to register your account with a valid email. In order to read the report, you will need to purchase a subscription. Mugshots Online which works with SpyFly offers a 7 day trial for 2 dollars followed by a monthly fee of 29.97 after the trial period is finished.
You can also run a mugshot search through GoLookUp’s database. GoLookUp uses hundreds of millions of public records and allows users to perform unlimited searches for mugshots, criminal records, arrest records, and any other public records you may need. The search runs using the name and state of the arrested person. You will need to create an account and select a subscription plan which starts from a 5 day trial for 1 dollar and 22.83 per month following the trial period, or 52.38 for a three-month subscription.
Why do I need to find mugshot pictures?
People often want to find mugshots pictures of other people. Why should you search for your own mugshots? Here is why:
To make sure the info is up to date
If you have ever been arrested, your mugshots will likely appear in public records. However, if for whatever reason your criminal records were sealed or expunged – your data should not be available to others. To make sure that such files are not available to others, you need to find mugshots pictures of yourself.
To find criminal records of others
If some you know has a criminal past, you will probably want to know about it. A professional mugshot search will provide you with the full criminal history of people. If you are dating someone new, if you have new neighbors, if you suspect that someone is lying to you about their past – a mugshot search will reveal the truth.
Find sex offenders
As of 2021, there are more than 1 million registered sex offenders in the United States. If you search and find mugshot pictures of people who are in your life, you can find out if they have a criminal sexual past.
Can I Find My Old Mugshot?
Generally speaking, yes – you can find your old mugshots with an online or an offline mugshot search. However, there are several exceptions to finding criminal records and the mugshots attached to them:
- Juvenile records – juvenile records are not available to the public at any stage.
- Expunged records – records that have been completely deleted from databases. They are no longer available to the public and even law enforcement agents.
- Sealed records – records that still exist, but are no longer available to the public.
In the US, certain criminal records are sealed or expunged by a court or a judge. If you want your mugshot to be removed from public records websites and other sources, the best way to go about it is to ask for your records to be sealed or expunged. Most states in the country allow individuals to file a request for expungement/sealing of certain criminal records.
So, you can file a petition to have your records to be expunged or sealed. After filing the petition, you need to appear in court to ask for your petition to be filled. If the court agrees, you will have a waiting period until your criminal records are sealed/expunged. There are fees involved in the process, so you should allocate funds if you want your records to no longer be available to the public. So, if you were wondering "can I find my old mugshot?", the answer is yes.
Can I Remove My Online Mugshot and If so, How?
Removing traces of an arrest can be difficult and if your mugshot is available online for anyone to see this can pose as an issue for relationships, jobs, and rentals. There are some sites that offer mugshot removal services for a hefty fee, typically above 400 dollars. If your arrest record was expunged you can reach out to any website that has posted your mugshot and ask them to take it down based on the expungement. You will have to provide proof of expungement in this case. The third option is to hire a lawyer to remove the mugshots for you, which is the most expensive option.