Do Mugshots Ever Go Away?

how-long-do-mugshots-stay-onlineHow Long Do Mugshots Stay Online?

Updated 1/16/2023
Possibly indefinitely, In most states, the law states 30 after you notify a mugshot publisher via registered mail or a certified letter that the mugshot site operator is required to remove the image or face a fine. Unfortunately, many states are not enforcing the laws created to eliminate the mugshot publishing industry.

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Without taking steps to proactively remove an image by hiring a mugshot removal company your mugshot can remain online forever.

With lower visibility in Google and limited methods of payment, mugshot websites appeared to be losing steam back in 2014. While online mugshots are no longer enjoying the heyday they once had, they can profit in other ways, including Google Adsense programs and 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. You want to get your mugshots removed with our content removal solutions.

Most 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. People with prior arrests need to check both search engines and view the images tabs. 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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Do Mugshots Disappear?

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 long do mugshots stay online

How Long Do Mugshots Stay On The Internet?

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. Other times the mugshot may be deleted by the law enforcement agency as soon as you are released or within a set time frame afterward. The most common timeframe ranges from 30 – 90 days. Unfortunately, mugshots hosted on sheriff or police websites are some of the most difficult to suppress given the amount of trust and authority a municipality website has. They sometimes are a .gov domain that is only available to an official government agency. The eligibility requirements for a .gov domain also add to the level of trust they are given.

rmm logoUltimately, the outlook is positive for individuals struggling with reputation issues from a prior arrest. Though some websites are still publishing photos and charging for removal, their popularity has 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, a mugshot will not remove itself.

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 violate 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 case to remove the photo and possibly win damages.
Mugshot Publisher
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 Forever No Yes
STLMugshots Forever No Yes

How Long Does It Take For Mugshots To Appear Online?

When it comes to the release of mugshots on the internet, the duration can vary depending on different factors. how long it takes before mugshots are posted online really can depend on the time of your arrest and the location or facility into which you are booked for processing and release. Law enforcement agencies aim to upload these images as soon as possible to aid in ongoing investigations and to ensure public safety. However, the exact timeframe can be influenced by the workload of the agency, the efficiency of its internal processes, and the prioritization of other administrative tasks.

While some jurisdictions may have immediate online accessibility to mugshots, others might experience a delay ranging from a few hours to several days, depending on the individual agency’s protocols. It is important to note that the release of mugshots online is subject to the applicable laws and regulations regarding privacy and public disclosure in each jurisdiction. some law enforcement agencies also published mugshots on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Other factors that may have an influence on the release of the mugshot include the nature of the crime, who’s involved in the crime, and the political environment of the jurisdiction involved. Crimes that are good for PR like drug busts that include a large amount of illicit drugs, cash, and guns, or prostitution stings that tend to garner a lot of attention, shares, and clicks. Re-election times for local sheriffs also result in stings and public disclosure of arrests to give the public the perception that crime is under control and tax dollars are at work.

Do Mugshots Go Away?

While mugshots may exist indefinitely in law enforcement databases, they are not permanent public records accessible to everyone in every state. Mugshots are typically taken at the time of an individual’s arrest and may be stored by law enforcement agencies for identification purposes. However, in certain jurisdictions, mugshots may be subject to privacy laws and regulations that limit their dissemination. In such cases, mugshots may eventually be removed from public view and not easily accessible to the general public or they may never be released.

How long are mugshots kept online depends on where they are being published online. For instance, the Hillsborough County sheriff will remove your mugshot 90 days after you are released from their custody. Nonetheless, it is important to note that the availability and retention of mugshots vary depending on the jurisdiction and the specific circumstances surrounding an individual’s arrest. How long does a mugshot stay online, really depends on how you respond to the booking photo appearing online and if you take steps to remove or mitigate it’s existence. States like Texas and Florida make it easy for mugshots to be published online simply because of their lax public record laws. Chances are mugshots can and will persist online and be visible in searches if nothing is done to combat them. Removing booking photos from public spaces and third-party websites can greatly reduce their visibility even if they persist in the public realm.

Why Are Some Mugshots Not Online?

Despite the proliferation of mugshot websites, not every mugshot gets published online. In fact, many areas in the United States 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 sheriff 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 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 24-48 hours. 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. how long do mugshot stay onlineMugshots 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.

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 record from the internet largely depends on which website is publishing the content. Some websites are pretty accommodating and others refuse to take images offline.

Remove Arrest Information From The Internet?

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 A company with a decade of crisis management, reputation management, ORM, SEO, and internet marketing experience. A company that has never partnered with, 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 audience. Publisher Gannett has announced that it will no longer publish mugshots online. We are the only mugshot removal company that will prevent new mugshots from appearing in search engines like Google.