Can You Erase Your Mugshots By Yourself? Yes, And We Tell You How!
An arrest is a challenging time for anyone, and a mugshot, unfortunately, records that moment whether you like it or not. While you focus on getting charges dismissed or otherwise removed from your record, that mugshot can easily stay with you forever. It may even negatively affect various areas of your life.
Mugshots are publicly accessible within days of an arrest and all too often find their way online, usually on various mugshot websites. While many states now enact laws concerning such websites, ultimately, it’s up to you to initiate the removal of your mugshot online.
When ready to tackle mugshot removal online, here are the steps you can take.
Locate all the websites posting mugshots. You may find a list online or need to do a wide search. Go to each one to determine if your mugshot is posted there.
Make a list of all the websites you will need to address. Include all contact information, such as email address and phone number. Note if the website has a contact form for information.
Since every website is different, you need to determine each one’s requirements for removal of a mugshot. This can be time-consuming but also essential. With patience and commitment, you can learn the steps to erase mugshots by yourself on each site. These requirements may be listed directly online, or you may have to contact them directly to find out more. Add these requirements to your list.
Now that you’ve determined the requirements for removal on each website, it’s time to compile necessary documentation. This may include:
- proof of dismissal
- proof of expungement or sealing of your case files
- a fee for removal
If your case is dismissed and you have paperwork showing this, you will need to submit it to any websites with that requirement. If you already expunged or sealed your charges, you’ll need to provide documentation proving it to other websites.
You will also find many websites require a fee for removal of mugshots. Be aware, however, that several states recognize laws restricting display of mugshots and the charging of a fee for their removal.
For anyone lacking documentation or seeking to expunge or seal their records, hiring a mugshot removal lawyer will be beneficial. A lawyer can also help decipher the different mugshot removal laws practiced in the different states.
Another option is to find a mugshot removal service you trust and work through them to erase your mugshot online. While you do pay a fee for this service, it will save you time and the frustration often associated with dealing with the various websites.
With almost everything available online these days, you may be wondering why bother taking such measures. Why remove information from online, especially if it costs money? The answer will depend largely on your situation, but a few reasons to remove your mugshot include:
- employment/background checks
- to avoid sharing personal information
- protecting your reputation
Taking the steps necessary to remove your online mugshots, whether on your own, with a trusted mugshot removal service, or a lawyer, you’ll protect your reputation and prevent access to a time in your life you wish to move past.