How Long Do Mugshots Stay Online?

how-long-do-mugshots-stay-onlineWith lower visibility in Google search engine results and limited methods of payment, mugshot websites appeared to be losing steam. But while online mugshots are no longer enjoying the heyday they once had, they are able to profit in other ways, including Bing, Yahoo, and Google Adsense programs ads for bail bonds and related services. As long as these sites are still operating, your arrest photo could show up online in a search for your individual name.
Fortunately, arrest photos no longer rank high enough to dominate your search results, but they do still pose a problem, especially in Bing. Most of the people using Bing are unable to switch their default search engine to Google but that person may very well be a person making a hiring decision. It’s important for people with prior arrests to check both search engines and view the images tabs, because nothing is ever really gone online. Potential employers, creditors, and other interested parties may still dig up your arrest record by using caching or searching the Internet Archive if they’re committed to finding them.

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How Long Do Mugshots Stay Online?

The short answer is…it depends on the website publishing the image. Some mugshot sites will remove an image with certain documentation. some websites will only update the status or resolution of your case. Some have taken a stance that their content is protected by open record laws and the first amendment. Some are headquartered or registered outside of the United States and therefore consider themselves exempt from the law. Lastly, other websites will keep your page up but remove the images or upload a generic placeholder image instead of your picture.how long do mugshots stay online

This is one of the most common questions we receive on a day-to-day basis. Another factor that plays into how long your mugshot will appear online in a search result is the search engine. How long your mugshot stays online in Google is different than Bing. If you share a name with a celebrity it may only appear briefly as a newly listed result that fades out.

If your mugshot appears directly from a website controlled by the local sheriff or county then it may never be deleted and may require a sustained reputation management campaign to suppress it from appearing on the first page of Google or other search engines on the internet.

Ultimately, the outlook is positive for individuals struggling with reputation issues from a prior arrest. Though there are some websites that are still publishing photos and charging for removal, their popularity has clearly taken a nosedive. Individuals with prior arrests now have more options than simply paying for removal. If you’re featured on a mugshot website, seek out every option possible to get your photo removed. Take action, and defend your online reputation.

Why Are Some Mugshots Not Online

If you’re struggling with how to remove a mugshot online, don’t lose hope. You have options, and the law may be on your side. Try the following tips to remove your arrest photo from websites:

  • Check the website’s policy. Some websites have what they call a courtesy removal service. If you can prove that you were exonerated or never charged, your photo may be removed. Even if the arrest stuck, if you can demonstrate that you’ve turned your life around, the websites may be convinced to take down your photo. Communication with the websites is a good first step, but keep in mind that they may not be eager to help.
  • Find out if you’re protected by law. Your state may have a law that requires mugshot websites to remove photos upon request. Typically, they must be taken down within 30 days of being contacted with the request, or they will be in violation of the law. Georgia and Oregon are two states that currently have these laws, and we expect to see more states join their ranks shortly.
  • Push for a larger crackdown on mugshot websites. If your state doesn’t have a mugshot removal law, ask for one. Contact your state lawmakers and encourage them to create a law that will make it easier for you to manage your online reputation.
  • Consult an attorney. Class action and individual lawsuits are pending against mugshot websites. You may be able to join or create your own case to remove the photo and possibly win damages.
Mugshot Publisher
Timeframe
Will Delete Your Image
Image Can Be Suppressed
Sherrif, Police, Department of Public Safety 30, 60, or 90 days. Indefinitely. Maybe Yes
Gannett Publishing 0 Days Yes Yes
Newspaper or Local Publication 30, 60, or 90 days. Maybe Yes
Mugshots.com Forever No Yes
STLMugshots Forever No Yes

Why Are Some Mugshots Not Online

Despite the proliferation of mugshot websites, not every mugshot gets published online. In fact, there are many areas in the United States that are still pretty rural or don’t have population centers large enough to interest mugshot publishers. The process of scraping and polishing mugshots is automated by software. If a Sherrif or law enforcement entity enables even the most basic forms of protection from an automated system by using something like a CAPTCHA puzzle then the number of mugshots published online would greatly diminish. Something like a login requirement would virtually eliminate the possibility of any mugshot getting scraped from their databases. Some mugshots may have been removed by our company or simply deleted by the arresting agency after a certain period of time.

Remove Mugshots From Google

One of the main requests that we receive here at RemoveMyMugshot.org is to have arrest records and private information removed from Google. We specialize in these types of requests. If your image has already been deleted from a mugshot publisher’s website then all you need to do is send a request to Google’s Webmaster Tools via the Search Console to have outdated content removed from Google’s index. These requests are automated and usually are completed within 24-48hrs. If the image is still live on the website you may have a harder time getting the image removed from Google’s search results. Google will still allow you to submit removal requests for illegal, harassing, or bullying content. Mugshots fall into a grey area for Google’s removal policies. We have gotten images taken out of the index but it is a rare occasion.

Remove Mugshots From The Internet

Once an image or other content is placed online, it is very difficult to stop the proliferation of that content over the internet. That doesn’t mean that everything that gets uploaded to the internet gets spread among websites instantly. It takes time and visibility for the content to be shared and/or syndicated. We recommend dealing with a mugshot immediately. Leaving online to fester can complicate removal and suppression strategies. Generally, a mugshot is picked up by a regional website like STLMugshots, TBCrimes, or NCBusted first before possibly getting scraped by other mugshot websites. Removing a mugshot or arrest records from the internet largely depends on which website is publishing the content. Some websites are pretty accommodative and others refuse to take images offline.

Remove Mugshots Online For Free

Sometimes you can remove your mugshot from a website at no cost simply by contacting them. We offer the most exhaustive list of websites and their contact information. We strongly encourage our readers to contact a website that is publishing their image and see if the website will remove the image. Sometimes they will take down the image after simply making the request. Other times they may ask for documentation regarding the disposition of your case in exchange for updating or removing the image from their website. Ultimately you have nothing to lose by sending a request to the website asking that the image be removed.

Is Erase Mugshots Legit

The only legitimate mugshot removal company is RemoveMyMugshot.org. A company with a decade of crisis management, reputation management, ORM, SEO, and internet marketing experience. A company that has never partnered with arrests.org or bailbondsHQ, a company that does not advertise on websites that publish mugshots. We spawned out of Incept Technologies, LLC. A Florida-based design agency that was literally down the road from where the practice of mugshot publishing began. The Tampa Bay Times on Kennedy Blvd., a Tampa Based newspaper looking to supplement its declining readership with additional revenue thus creating the infamous mugshot gallery that many online publishers quickly adopted. The trend is reversing as many news outlets have started ditching these galleries as they become aware of the personal harm and damage that they cause to their own reader’s audience. Publisher Gannett has announced that it will no longer publish mugshots online.