How Long Do Mugshots Stay Online? (2023)

How long do mugshots stay online? In our guide below, learn how mugshots get online, why they tend to stay online, and how to remove mugshots once and for all.

If you’ve ever been arrested — even for a crime you didn’t commit — you may have been subjected to getting your photo taken. Law enforcement agencies document arrests with arrest photos, sometimes known as booking photos or more commonly referred to as mugshots.

Once your mugshot is taken, your arrest photo gains a life of its own, appearing on literally dozens of mugshot websites and so-called “people finder” sites.

Online mugshots can damage your reputation and may prevent you from reaching your personal or professional goals. How long do mugshots stay online, and what can you do about them?

Our guide will answer all of your questions about mugshots, including why your arrest photos are on the web and how to choose a mugshot removal service.

Police booking photos and mugshots don’t have to rule over your life — if you’re ready to protect your personal privacy and restore your reputation, let’s learn how to get mugshots removed from the digital environment.

Law Enforcement Agencies and Mugshots

When someone is arrested, police or other law agencies take arrest photos for a clear law enforcement purpose. Every mugshot helps law enforcement identify criminals and serves as part of the public record of the police/criminal interaction.

Most agencies are required to record and share every arrest photo taken. If you’ve been charged with a crime, your own mugshot may be found online in Google search engine results.

Mugshots Posted Publicly Can Damage Your Reputation

People use the web every day to learn about people and places near them. Google and other popular search engines like Bing or Yahoo are also used to conduct informal background checks.

(Video) How to Remove your Mugshot from the Internet after a Criminal Arrest

Think about what would happen if you applied for a job, a loan, or a school admission and someone were to find your mugshots online. That person finding your mugshot in search results might associate you with criminal behavior, even if you were cleared of charges or had been arrested accidentally. These images have the effect of potentially wreaking permanent havoc to your ability to seek new opportunities in life and career.

Posting mugshots online has ruined many people’s chances of achieving their goals. With an embarrassing mugshot floating around on the web, you may miss out on the opportunities you need to reach success.

With so much on the line, can you afford to have mugshots stay online forever? Chances are you want to do something about it. We’ll address mugshot removal in a later section.

A Chilling Example of How Mugshots Can Do Damage

Don’t believe that mugshot websites can harm a person’s reputation? If not, consider the following story:

In 2020, Maricopa County resident Julie Levitch went to her boyfriend’s house to return his cellphone. His doorbell was broken, and Ms. Levitch attempted to knock on the glass, breaking it.

A neighbor heard breaking glass and called the police to report a crime being committed. The Phoenix police arrived, and officers arrested Levitch. She spent the night in jail and was subsequently released after experiencing harassment and solitary confinement. Eventually, her charges of criminal mischief were dropped.

Ms. Levitch filed a lawsuit against the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, alleging the county jail published photos of her arrest. Local news outlets also posted her booking photos online. In pending litigation, the county jail and the Sheriff’s Office allege no wrongdoing, claiming they were bound by laws requiring publication of the mugshots.

Just like many law enforcement agencies, mugshots taken during the booking process are published online. Even though Ms. Levitch was not proven guilty — in fact, her charges were dropped altogether — she suffered irreparable harm to her reputation.

How Did My Criminal Records and Mugshots Get Posted to the Web?

Three primary sources publish mugshots on the internet:

(Video) Convicted or not, mugshots can live online forever. But should they?

Public Records

Court records — including arrest reports, criminal records, and mugshots – are posted by government offices based on a legal obligation by these agencies to make records available to the public. These obligations are sometimes referred to as “open records” law. Police release mugshots once the arrested person is booked and processed.

Any time you deal with a government agency, official records of that interaction may become part of the public record. Typically, civil records and arrest records collected by federal, state, or local agencies are collected and shared in response to public records laws enacted by local and state governments. Nearly every agency involved in capturing and processing criminals publishes arrest photos online as part of the public record.

Data Brokers and Data Aggregators

Once public court records and other information are collected and distributed by government agencies in the digital environment, they tend to spread quickly. The culprits in this viral spread of sensitive information are “people finder” websites, sometimes called data brokers or “data aggregators.”

Data brokers use automated tools to scrape publically-available records from government databases, then republish this information on their own websites. There are literally hundreds of these third-party sites, and they can be useful for locating information about someone you met in person or online.

Data brokers may provide free access to public information, or they may charge a fee for individuals to gain access to records. In either case, potential employers conducting a background check may be able to find your past — including arrest information, mugshots, and criminal histories — even if you were wrongfully arrested.

Mugshot Websites

Mugshot sites are much like data brokers by reposting public information — like your criminal record, court records, or online arrest records — found on government databases. Mugshot websites have become incredibly popular. Many of them started by posting celebrity mugshots, then expanded their offerings to include criminal charges of every average person who has been arrested or detained by law enforcement officials.

Some websites only post mug shots, while others include a person’s criminal history, arrest and court records, or private information. If one site gets your booking photos, those mugshots may suddenly appear on multiple websites.

The internet loves crime stories, making mugshot websites incredibly popular. Because these sites are so popular and get so much web traffic, they tend to rank at or near the top of search results. Google Ads or other advertisements placed on these sites rake in money, giving site owners the incentive to keep posting booking photos — even of innocent people.

One mugshot can start the ball rolling; before you know it, other mugshot websites pick up your embarrassing arrest photo. In no time, your reputation will be damaged, and you may struggle to restore trust between you and others.

(Video) How to Remove Mugshots and Arrest Records from Google and Other Search Engines

A Word About Other Mugshot Sources

In addition to the three primary sources above, there are several other potential sources of mugshots that bear mention.

Many news outlets publish mugshots as part of the evening news. News media loves a juicy story about crime, so mugshots are a way to get people to tune in.

Social media creates a buzz whenever someone famous is arrested and charged with a crime. Even if the only evidence is circumstantial, executives and celebrities are at the mercy of the justice system and may have their embarrassing images shared on social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

It can be argued that posting mugshots online undermine basic protections of privacy — a person charged with a crime — even something as minor as misdemeanor criminal damage — may face a “trial of the public” in search engines and other online sources.

How Long Do Mugshots Stay Online? (1)

Mugshot Online? It Will Stay Online Until You Do Something About it

So, how long do mugshots stay online anyway? That depends.

You may have heard the saying, “if it’s on the web, it’s permanent.” When a mugshot gets posted, it will stay online until you take the time and effort needed to remove it. Mugshot websites earn money from paid advertising; thanks to the incredible amount of traffic these sites receive, they love the buzz created when embarrassing photos and mugshots are posted.

And, even if you could get your mugshot removed from one site, that same photo may be posted on dozens or even hundreds of other sites. In simple terms, once your mugshot is posted to mugshot websites, it will stick around for a LONG time unless you’re ready to do what you need to get it taken down.

Removing a Mugshot Online

How long do mugshots stay online? They will remain there until you begin the process of removal.


There are three potential ways to get your mugshot taken down:

Reach out to mugshot websites

Find out where your mugshot is posted online, then contact each site owner to request removal. Most mugshot websites will honor removal requests, provided the requester can demonstrate a specific reason or government documents that show your charges were dropped.

Expunge your criminal history

Expungement, also known as expunction, is the court-ordered process whereby a person’s arrest report, criminal record, or mugshot images are removed from public records. In essence, an expungement is a form of setting aside a criminal conviction.

You or your attorney can apply to have records expunged or your case sealed. Typically, this request is made via court order to the Clerk of Courts. Once your request for expungement has been granted, your online mugshot can be removed from public records databases. From there, the law requires mugshot websites to remove mugshots or face civil penalties like fines or loss of service.

Hire a mugshot removal company

While there are hundreds of mugshot removal websites claiming to offer services — even a courtesy removal service — the leading mugshot removal companies use proven strategies to get your booking photos taken down once and for all.

These removal services may use a range of tools, including:

  • Formal requests for removal
  • Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notices
  • Terms of Service (ToS) violation notices to internet service providers (ISPs)

Some of the best mugshot removal companies also use proven online reputation management strategies to not only remove mugshots but to restore the damaged reputations their clients experienced. With comprehensive services like these, a person can clear his or her name and once again be proud of their digital footprint.

If you are keen to engage a professional company to do it for you, check out the price of mugshot removal services first.

Contact OnlineReputation Today

OnlineReputation is a leader in information resources for the online reputation management industry. Our guides provide the details you need to make informed decisions about choosing the right services for your reputational needs, including services related to mugshot removal.

(Video) Stop Expunged Or Sealed Records From Appearing On Background Checks

Wiping your mugshot from the internet can be a complex and frustrating process. Our guides to mugshot removal law by state, mugshot removal in Florida, and many other information resources make it easy to understand your options, empowering you to make smart decisions.

To learn more about mugshot removal options, contact our office today at 844-230-3803 for a free consultation.


How long do mugshots stay on the Internet? ›

Unfortunately, mugshots can stay online indefinitely if steps are not taken to remove them. Even getting your records sealed or expunged, which is supposed to mean your case is confidential and a company should remove any trace of your arrest, does not necessarily delete a mugshot online.

How do I remove myself from mugshots com? ›

Send an email to their legal address: and attach your legal documentation proving the dismissal of charges or expungement paperwork. Check back between 7-10 days, and your mugshots should be removed.

How do I remove mugshots from my Internet Texas? ›

There are cases where you can submit documents to webmasters to remove your mugshots from a website. For example, the Texas legislature recently passed a law demanding mugshot sites remove mugshots when they receive a nondisclosure petition via written request.

What is the best website for mugshots? ›'s top 5 competitors in March 2023 are:,,,, and more. According to Similarweb data of monthly visits,'s top competitor in March 2023 is with 2.5M visits.

Did Google remove mugshots? ›

Google will remove mugshot photos from image search results only if the image has been deleted from the source website. That is, Google does not have any method or request form that people can use to remove arrest record information from search results or have mugshot pictures deleted off Google Images results.

What companies can remove your information from the Internet? ›

You can pay for an internet privacy service, such as DeleteMe, Kanary and OneRep, while people-search websites such as Spokeo, and Radaris have procedures to allow consumers to request removal from their database.

How do I delete a picture from arrests org? ›

Email with your information as it appears on your listing, including: the screenshots of the webpages to be removed.

Why do mugshots get released? ›

The Constitution dictates that the legal process be as open and transparent as possible. Because of that, mugshots are not classified as private information, meaning that they can be shared with others. Trying to prevent mugshots from getting out could result in lawsuits from the media or from everyday people.

Are mugshots public domain? ›

All works made by federal agencies are automatically in the public domain, so if the mugshot was made by a federal agency like the FBI, it is certainly in the public domain. However, states and state agencies can make their own rules about how they want to handle their intellectual property rights.

How do I get my records off the Internet? ›

  1. Delete or deactivate your shopping, social media and web service accounts. ...
  2. Remove yourself from data collection sites. ...
  3. Remove your info directly from websites. ...
  4. Remove personal info from websites. ...
  5. Remove outdated search results. ...
  6. And finally, the last step you'll want to take is to remove your email accounts.
Apr 4, 2022

How do I remove legal information from the Internet? ›

How to remove your personal information from the internet
  1. Request to remove data from data broker sites. ...
  2. Limit the data Google collects. ...
  3. Delete old social media accounts and make the ones you keep private. ...
  4. Remove personal info from other websites and blogs.
Nov 11, 2022

How do I remove information from an online site? ›

Removing your personal information from the internet
  1. Delete your social media accounts. ...
  2. Close or delete any blogs or personal sites. ...
  3. Remove all unnecessary apps from your phone or tablet. ...
  4. Use a do-not-track feature. ...
  5. Sweep out your computer data. ...
  6. Remove outdated search results.

Are mugshots public record in Texas? ›

In over 28 million citizens, Texas law enforcement agencies make some 750,000 arrests annually, creating the same number of mugshots each year. In line with the Texas Public Information Act, these mugshots and accompanying arrest records are public records accessible to all citizens and can be republished.

What app shows local mugshots? ›

JailBase provides arrest information to the public. Browse recent arrests, use our jail inmate search or view county mugshots all in one place. You can search for arrested persons you might know, and even get notified if someone you know gets arrested. All for free.

What sites are like arrests org? ›

The other five competitors in the top 10 list are (58.8K visits in March 2023), (< 5K visits in March 2023), (473.4K visits in March 2023), (15.6K visits in March 2023), and (37.1K visits in March 2023).

Can you see Texas mugshots? ›

Yes. The Texas Freedom of Information Act allows individuals to access criminal records, provided they make requests to the approved record custodians.

What is mugshots photo? ›

mug shot. noun. : a photograph of a person's face. especially : a police photograph of a suspect's face or profile.

How do I remove mugshots from my Internet Georgia? ›

To request the removal of the photograph, the individual must send written correspondence, including his or her name, date of birth, date of arrest and the name of the arresting law enforcement agency.

Can anything be permanently deleted from the internet? ›

But deleting your social media account might not be the fail-safe answer you're hoping for. The problem with deleting information is that nothing is ever really gone from the internet. Thanks to the terms and services that none of us read — but all of us agree to — it's very hard to retract info you've already shared.

Can something be permanently deleted from the internet? ›

No matter what you do, you can never guarantee that something has been entirely scrubbed from the internet. The cookies, caches, and people's ability to screenshot and screen record means that it almost doesn't matter how quickly you take down a post, the chances are someone has spotted it and nabbed it for the future.

Can things be completely be deleted from internet? ›

“It sounds very simple, but whatever you put out there, don't ever expect it to become private again,” said Matz, a social media researcher and professor at Columbia Business School. “Retracting something from the internet, hitting the reset button — is almost impossible.”

Can police make you delete photos? ›

Police may not delete your photographs or video under any circumstances. Officers have faced felony charges of evidence tampering as well as obstruction and theft for taking a photographer's memory card.

Can the police make someone delete pictures of you? ›

Regarding the question of whether or not police can tell you to delete photos from your phone, the recent Supreme Court rulings in Riley v. California and U.S. v. Wurie make it rather clear that they can not force you to do so.

How do you remove your photo information? ›

How to remove photo metadata
  1. Go to the folder that contains the images you want to address.
  2. Select an image file.
  3. Use your mouse to right click and select “Properties” from the menu.
  4. Next, select “Details.”
  5. Select the option to create a copy of the file with all possible properties removed.
  6. Select “OK.”
Dec 29, 2022

Are mugshots public record in USA? ›

Mug shots are routinely made available to the public and are often available on law enforcement websites.

Why you don t smile in mugshots? ›

Law enforcement prefers you use a relaxed face as it is the most natural appearance and allows them to identify you easier. Your lawyer would likely advise you that a smiling mugshot can be used against you as evidence of your attitude in response to your accusations.

Why do people wear towels in mugshots? ›

“We place a white towel around the shoulder/neck area of people having their mug shots taken in our jail,” Lt. Justin Lewis told me. “We do this to cover clothing and/or tattoos or marks on the neck/shoulder/chest area as to protect the integrity of a facial identification during photo lineups.

Are court recordings public domain? ›

Excluding confidential records, public court records are available to anyone and may be used for news publications, academic research and non-profit organizations. They may not, however be used for commercial purposes of any nature.

Are legal cases public domain? ›

All works of the government are part of the public domain!

The Copyright Act explicitly states that all works by the Federal government are in the public domain. This includes legislation, regulations, legal opinions, and hearings.

Are mugshots public in Florida? ›

Under Florida's Freedom of Information Act, mugshots are public records. Hence, the public can obtain mugshots from the online databases of criminal justice agencies online.

Does LifeLock remove personal information from Internet? ›

Privacy Monitor is available in Norton 360 with LifeLock plans. Our Support Agents will request removal of your info for you with our Privacy Monitor Assistant service.

How do I delete my record history? ›

Google Chrome
  1. Open Chrome on your Android device, tap the three dots in the top right, and select History.
  2. Tap clear browsing data and make sure Browsing history is checked. Then, select your desired time range (tap All time to delete all data), and tap Clear data.
Mar 10, 2023

How do I remove information from public records now? ›

In short: Navigate to the Public Records Now opt-out at [Alternatively] Go to the contact page and click “click here to opt out” Fill in the opt-out form, solve the CAPTCHA, and click “Opt out”

How much does it cost to remove your information from the internet? ›

You can hire an online service like Delete Me or Privacy Duck to do that for you. Be aware, it's not cheap. Delete Me costs $129 per year, while Privacy Duck starts at $500 per year.

How do I get my name off the internet search engine? ›

How to remove your name from internet search engines
  1. Secure your social media accounts or delete them entirely. ...
  2. Scan for old posts, comments and reviews. ...
  3. Delete your online shopping accounts. ...
  4. Delete old email accounts. ...
  5. Get help. ...
  6. Remove outdated search results. ...
  7. Hide bad stuff by flooding search engines with positive links.
Jan 13, 2021

How do I stop my name from appearing on a Google search? ›

#1: Go private on social media

Not only will they find it, Google will display the account(s) highly in any search for your name. A quick way to clear those results is by making sure the profiles on those accounts are private. By making those profiles private, Google won't display them in search results.

How do I delete pictures from the Internet? ›

  1. Go to your Album Archive.
  2. Open the photo you want to delete.
  3. At the top right, select More Delete photo .
  4. If you don't find "Delete photo," select Manage in Google Photos to delete the photo.

How do I remove my mobile number from all websites? ›

From Google Search
  1. Log in with your Google Account. ...
  2. Go to Google Search.
  3. Search for your name. ...
  4. On the result that has your email address, phone number, or home address, click More .
  5. At the bottom, click Remove result.
  6. Select It shows my personal contact info.
  7. Go through the reporting flow.
  8. Submit your request.

How far back does a background check go in Texas? ›

How Many Years Back Does a Background Check Go in Texas? In the state of Texas, criminal background checks generated by an employer can go back seven years into an applicant's criminal and personal history.

How can I find out if someone has a criminal record in Texas? ›

Court records may be obtained from the court where the case was heard. Criminal history records may be obtained from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) criminal records division.

Is it illegal to video record police in Texas? ›

Laws Regarding Recording Police

In Texas and other states, it is legal to film, photograph, or otherwise, record anything that can be seen in a public place. This is a constitutional right, and it is very important in a free society.

How do I hide mugshots on Google? ›

Send an “Image Removal Request” to Google

If online publishing of a mugshot presents a significant privacy risk, Google can be contacted. To send a removal request to Google, just choose the type of request you're making, fill out the form completely, and then submit it.

Can I look up local arrests? ›

Yes, according to the California Public Records Act, all arrest records that law enforcement agencies create are open for public view. Anyone that wishes to view public arrest records must contact their local law enforcement officials.

What apps record crime? ›

CrimePad® and FlamePad® are the professional-grade iPad, Windows, and Android apps that allows every law enforcement user to record, track, maintain, collaborate and report on all the data within an criminal investigation, a crime scene, or a fire investigation.

Are public record sites legit? ›

Overview. Search Public Records has a consumer rating of 4.38 stars from 2,615 reviews indicating that most customers are generally satisfied with their purchases. Consumers satisfied with Search Public Records most frequently mention great service, good information and family members.

What website is similar to Vinelink? ›'s top 5 competitors in March 2023 are:,,,, and more.

Does Florida release mugshots? ›

Even if you're found not guilty, your mugshot will still stay online. Mugshots can show up online regardless of if you were arrested for a misdemeanor or a felony charge in Florida.

Do you smile in mugshots? ›

Every criminal defense lawyer we can find who has addressed the subject of mugshot facial expressions says the same thing: Do. Not. Smile.

How can I get my public information off the Internet? ›

How to remove your personal information from the internet
  1. Request to remove data from data broker sites. ...
  2. Limit the data Google collects. ...
  3. Delete old social media accounts and make the ones you keep private. ...
  4. Remove personal info from other websites and blogs.
Nov 11, 2022

How do I clear my record in Georgia? ›

Fill out Section 1 on the Request to Restrict Arrest Record form. Submit the form to the arresting agency. Ask them to complete Section 2 and submit the form to the prosecuting attorney's office. The prosecuting attorney's office will complete Section 3 and either approve or deny your request within 90 days.

How do I remove my record from the Internet? ›

  1. Delete or deactivate your shopping, social media and web service accounts. ...
  2. Remove yourself from data collection sites. ...
  3. Remove your info directly from websites. ...
  4. Remove personal info from websites. ...
  5. Remove outdated search results. ...
  6. And finally, the last step you'll want to take is to remove your email accounts.
Apr 4, 2022

How do I delete mugshots from Google? ›

Send an “Image Removal Request” to Google

If online publishing of a mugshot presents a significant privacy risk, Google can be contacted. To send a removal request to Google, just choose the type of request you're making, fill out the form completely, and then submit it.

Do arrests show up on background checks in Florida? ›

Florida Criminal Records

All background checks in Florida should include criminal and arrest history sources from Florida police and court public records. You can find information such as type, date, and location of offense plus case number and court name if they were tried in the court of law.

How do I find mugshots in Florida? ›

For example, individuals can find mugshots through the Florida Department of Corrections Offender Search website and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Sex Offender Registry. Mugshots that are unavailable online can be obtained in person at local and state law enforcement agencies in Florida.

What do people hold up in mugshots? ›

The arrested person is sometimes required to hold a placard with name, date of birth, booking ID, weight, and other relevant information on it. With digital photography, the digital photograph is linked to a database record concerning the arrest.

Do you wear glasses in mugshots? ›

For subjects who normally wear eyeglasses, a frontal mugshot image should be captured of the subject without glasses. This is required due to the glare from external illumination. An additional image can optionally be captured of the subject wearing eyeglasses.


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