Georgia Mugshot Removal and GA Law
The state of Georgia has enacted two laws to help prevent Georgia residents from becoming mugshot victims. In 2013 Ga. Code 10-393.5 required that mugshot companies be required to remove images of any arrest that is eligible for restriction or restriction. Mugshot publishers are required to remove the image within 30 days of receiving a written request. A website that does not comply will face civil and criminal penalties. Websites like the Georgia Gazette claim that your case needs to be dismissed, dropped, not prosecuted, or not guilty. That simply is not the case according to Georgia Law. If you submit a written request to anyone publishing a mugshot of a Georgia resident, it must be removed within 30 days.
To remove your mugshot from a mugshot website, you’ll need to provide the following information in your removal request:
- Your full name
- Your date of birth
- The date of your arrest
- The name of the arresting police officer or police department
Once you have this information, you can mail your removal request to the mugshot company via certified mail.
Please note: The mugshot company must remove your mugshot from their website within 30 days of receiving your request. If they fail to do so, you can file a complaint with the Georgia Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division.
The second law explicitly states that companies cannot access booking photos for the purpose of publishing them online and then charge a fee for the removal of said image.
Free GA Mugshot Removal Analysis
Georgia residents are protected from the extortion tactics of mugshot publishers. The resident needs to submit a formal request via certified mail, return receipt requested, or statutory overnight delivery to the registered agent, principal place of business, or the primary residence of the person who publishes the website.
Georgia Law Enforcement And The Open Records Act
Georgia has enacted it’s own version of “Sunshine Laws” so residents can observe the workings of their government. The Office of the Attorney General plays an important role regarding access to public records.
The Open Records Act was created to both encourage public access to government records and to foster public confidence in the government by being open to the public. The General Assembly intended to give the public a right to access government records in general, while allowing for the withholding of certain categories of information when it was believed that nondisclosure would be in the best interest of the public.
This applies to all records compiled for
law enforcement or prosecution purposes, including, but not limited to:
• Computer records
The Act requires that arrest and booking records be disclosed. They cannot be displayed on the website of a law enforcement agency. Anyone requesting booking photos or mug shots first must affirm in writing that they will not be used in a publication, or on a site that charges to remove or delete the photo.
Georgia Mugshots Law Code Title 35: §35-1-19
New Laws Protect Individuals Against Publishers Who Place Arrest Records Online
- Once the request has been made, websites have 30 days to comply before Georgia residents can file a formal complaint with the Georgia Department of Law Consumer Protection Division.
- Below are the categories which qualify an individual for free removal of his or her booking photograph:
- Access to their case or charges is restricted pursuant to Code Section 35-3-37.
- Prior to indictment, accusation, or other charging instrument, their case was never referred for further prosecution to the proper prosecuting attorney by the arresting law enforcement agency, and the offense against the individual was closed by the arresting law enforcement agency.
- Prior to indictment, accusation, or other charging instrument, the statute of limitations has expired.
- Prior to indictment, accusation, or other charging instrument, their case was referred to the prosecuting attorney but was instead dismissed.
- Prior to indictment, accusation, or other charging instrument, the grand jury returned two no bills.
- After indictment or accusation, all charges were dismissed or nolle prossed.
- After indictment or accusation, the individual pleaded guilty to or was found guilty of possession of a narcotic drug, marijuana, or stimulant, depressant, or hallucinogenic drug and was sentenced in accordance with the provisions of Code Section 16-13-2, and the individual successfully completed the terms and conditions of their probation; or
- The individual was acquitted of all of the charges by a judge or jury.
Mugshots Removal Letter Sample
(Address of website company)
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing to request the removal of my arrest booking photo (“mugshot”) from your website at
(website address) pursuant to O.C.G.A. 10-1-393.5.
Georgia law requires that you remove any arrest booking photograph if the arrest is eligible
to be restricted or has been restricted within 30 days of the individual depicted sending a
O.C.G.A. 10-1-393.5 states the following: Any person who is engaged in any activity involving
or using a computer or computer network that publishes on such person’s publicly available
website a subject individual’s arrest booking photograph for the purposes of commerce shall be
deemed to be transacting business in this state. Within 30 days of the sending of a written
request by a subject individual, including his or her name, date of birth, date of arrest, and name
of the arresting law enforcement agency, such person shall, without compensation, remove
from such person’s website the subject individual’s arrest booking photograph. Without
otherwise limiting the definition of unfair and deceptive acts or practices under this part, a
failure to comply with this paragraph shall be unlawful.
My arrest is eligible to be restricted and/or has been restricted. I am providing below the
required information for the immediate removal of the photograph. Please see O.C.G.A. 35-3-37
for restriction eligibility.
Date of Birth: _________________________________________________
Date of Arrest: ________________________________________________
Arresting Agency: ______________________________________________
I expect that my arrest booking photograph will be removed from the website (website
address) by (date 30 days from sending). Failure to comply shall be unlawful and subject to civil
and criminal penalty under Georgia law. Failure to comply will result in a formal complaint with the
Georgia Department of Law Consumer Protection Division
To begin your complaint against a non-compliant website go here: http://ocp.ga.gov/form/consumer-complaint/step1
Alex Adekola is a thought leader in the reputation management industry who has targeted mugshot publishers since 2012. Alex Adekola is the longest-serving reputation and crisis management strategist and has written a book on mugshot removal. He is the creator and director of strategy at RemoveMyMugshot.org and Incept Technologies, LLC.