Texas Mugshot Laws Help With Arrest Record Removals
With the newly enacted legislation. Texas residents have legal backing to demand images be removed by mugshot publishers online. Everything is bigger in the Longhorn state of Texas, including the law.
Free Removal Analysis (813) 421-8334
Texas legislature passed a law demanding mugshot sites remove mugshots when they receive a nondisclosure petition via a written request sent by USPS certified mail. Getting a mugshot removed in this way can be effective but take up to 30 days. You won’t need an attorney and an experienced law firm to handle this type of request if you use our letter templates.
Texas mugshot law states a certified letter is required to demand removal. Texas residents will need to find the correct address to send legal documentation. Some mugshot operators are offshore or hidden behind private WHOIS information. We help our readers find the correct address in our reputation management training.
Texas Mugshot Removal Laws
The Texas state legislature has passed a new state law that requires mugshot publishers to remove your mugshot if you make a nondisclosure request per SECTION 1. Subtitle C, Title 5, Business & Commerce Code, is amended by adding Chapter 109
We are going to outline some of the key points that you need to know about the new law. Skip through to the end for a summary but you may need to cite specific parts of the actual statues to mugshot site owners.
CHAPTER 109. BUSINESS ENTITIES ENGAGED IN THE PUBLICATION OF CRIMINAL RECORD INFORMATION
Sec 109.001 (B) A photograph of the person taken pursuant to an arrest or other involvement in the criminal justice system; and (C) personal identifying information of a person displayed in conjunction with any other record of the person’s involvement in the criminal justice system.
(4)”Publish” means to communicate or make information available to another person in writing or by means of telecommunications and includes communicating information on a computer bulletin board or similar system.
address to enable a person who is the subject of criminal record information published by the entity to dispute the completeness or accuracy of the information.
Sec.A109.005. PUBLICATION OF CERTAIN CRIMINAL RECORD INFORMATION PROHIBITED; CIVIL LIABILITY. (a) a business entity may not publish any criminal record information in the business entity’s possession with respect to which the business entity has knowledge or has received notice that: (1) an order of expunction has been issued under Article 55.02, Code of Criminal Procedure; or (2) an order of nondisclosure has been issued under S.B.ANo.A1289 4Section 411.081(d), Government Code.
(b)A business entity that publishes information in violation of Subsection (a) is liable to the individual who is the subject of the information in an amount not to exceed $500 for each separate violation and, in the case of a continuing violation, an amount not to exceed $500 for each subsequent day on which the violation occurs.
Sec.A109.006. CIVIL PENALTY; INJUNCTION. (a)A business entity that publishes criminal record information in violation of this chapter is liable to the state for a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $500 for each separate violation and, in the case of a continuing violation, an amount not to exceed $500 for each subsequent day on which the violation occurs. For purposes of this subsection, each criminal record published in violation of this chapter constitutes a separate violation.
(b) The attorney general or an appropriate prosecuting attorney may sue to collect a civil penalty under this section.
Mugshot websites are defined as companies that publish and display public information in relation to involvement with the criminal justice system.
Mugshot websites are required to take down any Texas residents’ information if they send a nondisclosure request, the case is expunged, or contest the accuracy of the information, charges dropped, new address, record expunged, etc.
The Mugshot website must list a way that they can be contacted, either by email, fax, phone, address, etc. It has to be easy to see.
They can be fined $500 per day for non-compliance or if they do not respond in 45 days. Each picture can result in an additional $500.
The prosecuting attorney can sue to collect a civil penalty.
One of the actions that can be taken to remove arrest records online is to file a petition for non-disclosure. This is basically a court order that prevents public entities such as police departments, sheriff’s offices, and courts from releasing certain criminal records. Including your mugshot.
This can be helpful if you have a criminal record in Texas. However, there are restrictions to how and when it can be used:
- This is an option if you have completed all court requirements and have been placed on deferred adjudication.
- Minor misdemeanor offenders may be eligible to file immediately following their deferral period.
- More serious misdemeanors may require you to wait 2 years after completion of your deferral period.
- If convicted of certain felony offenses, you must wait 5 years from the completion of the deferral period.
A deferral period is the time after the defendant has completed probation and the sentence is suspended. But, all stipulations handed down by a judge must be fulfilled for the deferral to take effect. Afterward, the conviction, sentence, and guilty plea can be thrown out.
Hopefully, all states will follow in the footsteps of Texas.
Navigating The Removal Laws in TX
Texas Mugshot Publishers
There are some regional websites that publish mugshots specifically related to Texas such as AustinIntoxicated, TheMontgomeryPoliceReporter, TheyArrested.me, TexasStateMugshots.org etc. Some of the major cities in Texas, such as Autin, San Antonio, and Dallas have large metropolitan areas with s substantial population. This has attracted many of third-party mugshot publishers who are not the original custodians of the information provided by the Texas Department of Safety. Some of the counties in Texas like Bastrop, Bexar, Glvestons, Tarrant, Aransas, Denton, Harris, Lubbock, and Nacogdoches have populations larger than some states in America.
Do Law Enforcement Agencies Need To Publish Mugshots Online
A mugshot or arrest record can appear online when an individual has had an encounter with Law Enforcement. The Texas Department of Safety is the government agency responsible for maintaining arrest records, police reports, court dockets, criminal prosecution data, crime statistics, and public safety data. All of this information is available to the public. Texas has strong public records laws similar to how Florida governs its citizens. Arrest records are part of public record but this should be limited in scope to helping law enforcement identify criminal suspects or for journalistic values.
Can A Criminal Defense Lawyer Remove Arrest Records Online In Texas?
Well, they can’t exactly remove mugshots from the internet but your criminal defense attorney can help you have a strong foundation for removing your mugshots by the resolution of your case. If they are successful in getting your charges dropped, dismissed, or sealed you are in luck.
Texas is one of the 18 states with laws targeted at cracking down on the activities of commercial mugshot publishers. The Texas Business and Commerce Code § 109.005, and the expungement law, are two legislations available for eligible ex-offenders in Texas to leverage in getting their mugshots removed from commercial websites. Expunction ensures the removal of an arrest record along with the mugshot from any Texas law enforcement agency’s domain permanently. While eligibility is determined by the criminal offense, timeframe, and the kind of community supervision (probation).
Most mugshot publishers simply remove the images once they have paperwork stating that your case had a favorable disposition. Your mugshot may be gone but your arrest record can persist online once your case is over. Some mugshot companies have resorted to using placeholder images to comply with the law. We are the only company that offers a lifetime guarantee on our work. We shield
Call The Industry Leader, RemoveMyMugshot To Remove Mugshots Today
Are you having trouble removing your mugshots from the internet?
Let us help you take control of your online reputation. Our experienced team has a proven track record of successfully removing mugshots from websites. We offer a comprehensive mugshot removal service that includes:
- A free consultation to discuss your specific situation
- Proven legal strategies to get your mugshots taken down permanently
- Effective methods to remove unwanted content from the source
Since 2013, we have helped thousands of individuals and businesses worldwide restore their reputations and protect their online privacy. Our tailored approach ensures you get the results you deserve and expect from the leading crisis management experts.
Contact us today for a free consultation and let us help you remove your mugshots and reclaim your online image.
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.