Mugshots Are Public Record (2023)

Mugshots Are Public Record (1)

December 19, 2019

Are All Mugshots Public Record?

You may be wondering, why are mugshots public records? The fact of the matter is simple, ever since the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) came into effect, personal records are more accessible than ever before. Our government has gone to great lengths to ensure increased transparency between society and local entities.

Today on the internet you are able to learn anything, you can theoretically learn how to become a heart surgeon or maybe just find a recipe for tonight’s family dinner. Whatever you use the internet for, just remember there are unlimited amounts of information available to anyone and everyone.

In the past, in order to obtain a mugshot or criminal record for a specific individual you would have to travel to the county clerk office and request a copy. However starting in 2015 with the emergence of mugshot publication websites, the accessibility increased ten-fold.

To this day, if you were to go online, the only thing stopping you from locating my home address is knowing the right website and about $10 to set up an account (subscription). As we just stated, mugshot websites such as and/or have not only made this process free but simpler than ever.

All visitors have to do is enter an individual’s name and bam, all their arrests appear right before their eyes.

Please fill out the form below and we will reach out as soon as possible!

What is Considered Public Information?

Typically anything that can be retrieved from a county clerk office or local database online is considered public information. These documents and reports would include all court documents, government case files, real estate deeds and much more. This is another effort by the government to improve transparency between the local community and governmental offices.

Look at it this way, if you are in the market or looking to buy a new home you will most likely do extensive research on not only the home but the previous/current owner. Known by most, there are various databases online you can utilize to accomplish this.

For this example, you could take a deeper look into the county’s land reports, fault lines, history, maintenance and much more.

In certain circumstances, you may not be able to access specific documents or reports as easily (or at all). For instance, if a court case has been expunged off of an individual’s criminal record, you will no longer be able to see it. It is like the arrest “never happened” in the eye of the law.

So generally speaking, files that have been sealed, dismissed or expunged by a Judge are not accessible to the general public.

Mugshots Are Public Record (2)

Why Mugshots Publication Sites Post Mugshots

Depending on which side of the law you are standing on, we can all agree that online mugshots make anyone look bad. Unfortunately for society, documents such as mugshots, criminal records, and arrest reports are public knowledge. Meaning anyone can collect the data and distribute it as they wish.

For most, that means the end of their career or even disrupting their family life. An arrest can quickly flip your life upside-down and knowing how to be proactive about keeping your reputation in good standing will make all the difference.

So what is protecting these mugshot publication websites? Well, the answer is simpler than what you might expect. Dating back to 1966, the FOIA, otherwise called the Freedom of Information Act came to fruition.

FOIA provides you with all the freedom to lawfully collect public documents from inside a national agency. Regardless of whether the public document has been created by the agency or directly gathered by them.

To be able to acquire this information, you have to send them a signed application or request, directed at the maximum fitting service. Moreso, you have to describe the information that you need to obtain in detail.

Truth be told, there’s not a particular form. All you need to do is ask. Under the FOIA, it is possible to ask about any public documents formulated or obtained by that particular agency. You might also be asked to pay a fee, even though this is uncommon.

Obtaining Mugshots and Public Records

Commonly, a public document is a report registered with any particular town, county, state or federal government office. In layman’s terms, people documents are simply documents and official reports that anybody may access. Although public records are normally records.

These documents may consist of anything from maps to records, to movies, to photos, to tapes, to applications, to letters, and books and so on.

Court records are a popular illustration of public documents. As an example, if you discovered your next-door neighbor Max was detained for a violent national charge a few years ago, you can inquire for a copy of those public records to find out more about the event. In some cases, these findings can only be seen or collected online.

Florida and Maryland allow the public to search for the next within their own database: Moreso, it’s possible to even obtain copies of transcripts from this individual’s hearing and trial (Florida only). Additionally, you can scour the web for bankruptcy matters utilizing the database named PACER.

Mugshots: Guilty Before Proven Innocent

Mugshots can help others when they’re attempting to find individuals who’ve been absconded. In resistance, mugshots can frighten the local place for if an individual was discharged and if they’re dangerous.

So there’s a great reason to discuss some mugshots. Our judicial system anticipates transparency from the national constitution. Any effort to maintain mugshots independently would end in suits by people affected.

But this didn’t alter considerably. This is a bit the understanding of the injury that mugshots can make when online. The court clearly says websites that place mugshots online, in its own analysis.Some countries have enacted laws so as to restrict the number of published mugshots before a certainty. One of those states now is New Jersey.

The whole notion of public documents would be to skip the authorities from collecting money from individuals. Additionally to limit their power.

It had been known that making records people would protect people. Since it surely does when you’ve got a secretive government. But, in addition, it may still cause harm in the electronic age we’re experiencing now. The worldwide web extends both ways, folks wish to have the ability to find whatever info they desire.

However, if the data makes them look bad there’s an uproar, a complete catch-22.

As citizens of the USA, we’ve got the liberty to spot issues and liberty of expression. But when others are lawfully permitted to demonstrate the adverse past of the others it conveys irreparable harm onto somebody else.

Mugshots Are Public Record (3)

Remove Mugshots From Public Records

Mugshot posts normally start to surface online following about two weeks following the detain. Approaching these mugshot books instantly provides you with leverage when working to eliminate criminal records from public documents.

During sophisticated background checks, it’s likely your criminal background will disclose itself. Sites like WhitePages or Spokeo show everything from the title, criminal background, relatives, home addresses, etc.

Eliminating online mugshots and public documents is exactly what RPI concentrates on and has for the last decade. Our mugshot elimination team will notify all search results instantly after the removal of your public documents.

After about one week, Google will refresh its search results to show some alterations on the web.

Conclusion: Mugshots Are Public Record with RPI

There are a lot of reasons why individuals should wish your history restored to its former glory and cleaned up.

If you’d like to find out more about ways to work to eliminate public documents like mugshots online, please fill out the form below and we’ll contact you when we could.

Please fill out the form below and we will reach out as soon as possible!

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Are mugshots public record in USA? ›

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

Where can I view local mugshots for free? ›

Check your local sheriff and police department websites.

Some law enforcement agencies host mugshots online, which you can view for free. Not many do, however, so this shouldn't be your first place to check. You'll need to know the county where the person was booked.

What is the best website for mugshots? ›'s top 5 competitors in April 2023 are:,,,, and more.

What is the purpose of a mug shot? ›

The original purpose of the mug shot was to allow law enforcement to have a photographic record of an arrested individual to allow for identification by victims, the public and investigators.

Are mug shots in the 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.

Is there an app to see 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 app shows local arrests? ›

MobilePatrol connects you to important safety information, news, and critical alerts for places you care about. We partner with public safety and law enforcement agencies nationwide so you can receive timely access to information that keeps you and your loved ones safe.

How does mugshots com work? › collects booking photos from the public record and posts them online. In the past, it was possible to pay between $399 and $1799 to have your record removed. If your record was expunged, it is possible to remove it from by contacting them via email.

Are mugshots public record in Florida? ›

Arrest records which include mugshots are public documents and form part of the arrest history of an arrestee. Arrest history information in the state of Florida is collated by the Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).

Are mugshots good for you? ›

Mug Shot snack meals are a great tasting and healthy choice. Speedy sachets and pots can either be enjoyed alongside your lunch or as a stand-alone meal or snack, to fill you up in nutritious and delicious style. All the products are both low in calories and fat and contain no artificial colours or preservatives.

Are mugshots public record in Illinois? ›

Mugshots are the property of the government. They are a part of the public record. Most mugshots are released by state law enforcement agencies. They must be made available to the media.

How do I find recent arrests in North Carolina? ›

Information about criminal cases in the North Carolina court system can be accessed by visiting a public, self-service terminal located at a clerk of court's office in any county. You can use the terminal to search for cases by defendant name, case number, or victim or witness name.

How can I access public records in USA? ›

Federal case files are maintained electronically and are available through the internet-based Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) service. PACER allows anyone with an account to search and locate appellate, district, and bankruptcy court case and docket information. Register for a PACER account.

What are public records in USA? ›

Public records contain information, minutes, files, accounts, or any other documents that a governmental body is required to maintain, and must be accessible to the public.

Are Ohio mugshots public? ›

The Ohio Open Records Law passed in 1954 guarantees that court records are available to any public member, thereby making it a fundamental right to all residents of Ohio.

Can all states see your mugshots California? ›

Californians have the right under the state Public Records Act and the California Constitution to access public information maintained by local and state government agencies, including the Department of Justice.


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