Oct 11, 2013

Free Mug Shots

There are over a hundred web sites that publish mug shots and request payment to take them off. These are legal, but can be very bad for someones reputation and job prospects. The sites get away with their actions because the United States Supreme Court has ruled that mug shots are public records and many law enforcement agencies regularly publish them online. Mug shots are taken at time of booking and many people are exonerated or have their charges dropped.

Mug shots have been online for years, but now there are many more sites. They get most of their images from sheriffs’ and other law enforcement web sites. Some sites offer a courtesy removal for people who have been exonerated or never charged, to get their image removed for free. Others charge hundreds of dollars for removal. Unfortunate for the people who land on many sites. It could cost them thousands to have their mug shots removed.

Lately PayPal and some credit card companies have been dropping known mug shot sites as customers, making it more difficult for them to get paid. This is good for their corporate consciences, but makes it even more difficult to get mug shots removed from the web.