Erasing The Past: A Comprehensive Guide to Mugshot Removal Law

It’s no secret that we live in an age where social media and the internet have the power to disperse information rapidly. Unfortunately, even if you’ve been cleared of a criminal charge, your mugshot can still be floating around on the internet. This can be very problematic, as it can impact future job opportunities and even personal relationships. If you or someone you know has ever found themselves in this situation, then you’re probably familiar with the urge to erase this digital fingerprint of your past Mugshot Removal. And luckily, there are laws in place to help make that happen.

What is a Mugshot?

Firstly, you might be wondering – what exactly is a mugshot? A mugshot is the photograph that is taken of an individual who has been arrested. It includes their name, the date and time of their arrest, and the crime they were arrested for. Traditionally, mugshots were only used for law enforcement purposes, but in recent years, mugshots have become a form of entertainment on the internet.

Laws Governing Mugshot Removal

In recent years, several states have passed legislation that requires websites to remove mugshots at the request of the individuals pictured free of charge. These states include Georgia, Utah, and Oregon, among others. In addition to these state laws, there is also a legal argument for the removal of a mugshot. If an individual can prove that the mugshot is either inaccurate, incomplete, or misleading, then they have a strong case for its removal. Additionally, if a person was never actually convicted of the crime they were arrested for, then they may have the right to have their mugshot removed altogether.

Steps To Take When Removing a Mugshot

If you find yourself in the position of wanting to remove a mugshot from the internet, there are a few steps you can take to make this happen. Firstly, you will want to compile all of the information about where your mugshot is located online. This means searching for your name, crime, and other relevant information on major search engines like Google and Bing. Once you have gathered this information, you can begin to request that the website or search engine remove your mugshot.

It’s important to note that you’ll need to make these requests to every website individually. Every website has their own protocol for how to request mugshot removal, so it’s important to read through their guidelines before sending any emails or letters. Following these protocols exactly as they’re written increases your chances of your request being accepted.

The Impact of Mugshots on Personal Lives

The impact of having a mugshot online can be devastating. It can limit your career opportunities, impact your personal relationships, and even affect your mental health. In an ideal world, mugshots would only exist for law enforcement purposes and would be taken down as soon as a person is cleared of their charges. However, we live in a world where the internet makes information readily available and often difficult to remove. This is why it’s important to understand your rights and options when it comes to removing a mugshot from the web.


Mugshot removal law is complicated and varies by state, but it’s important to understand your rights to limit the impact that a mugshot can have on your personal and professional life. If you or someone you know is struggling with removing a mugshot from the internet, there is hope. With understanding, research, and patience, it is possible to have your online presence reflect the person you currently are, rather than the person you were in the past.

Duane Roberts

Duane Roberts

Paul Roberts: As a legal affairs journalist turned blogger, Paul's posts offer expert analysis of legal news and court cases. His clear explanations and engaging style make complex legal issues more understandable for readers.