Your online reputation lasts forever — whether positive or negative. Embarrassing comments and photos can resurface. Even criminal records like arrest information and public mugshots can be accessed and exploited online. Mugshot removal websites have built a business around displaying arrest records and demanding payment to delete the photos. However, victims now have many options to remove these damaging images from Google.
We no longer offer a mugshot removal service. We’re keeping this page up as an informational resource only.
How Mugshot Websites Work
Mugshot websites scrape arrest photos from county police websites and post them online. Unfortunately, these sites often rank very well, and could even fill the first page of your search engine results. As a result, you may not be able to find jobs, dates, or even apply for credit.
In the past, mugshot websites charged a hefty fee to remove arrest photos. But thanks to new laws, policies from Google, and action by credit card companies, those extortion scams are a thing of the past.
Worst mugshot websites
All mugshot websites claim their victims are innocent until proven guilty. They also state that information on their sites should not be used to determine credit, employment, housing or insurance eligibility. But in reality, if your arrest photo appears online it’s likely to affect all of those things.
- Gainesville Mugshots (mugshotsgainesville.com) collects booking information from the Alachua County Jail system. It displays mugshots for a maximum of 90 days. Contact them at this email: [email protected]
- Look Who Got Busted (lookwhogotbusted.com) – claims that they are not affiliated with BUSTED! Mugshots. Contact the site here: [email protected]
- Medford Mugshots
- Springfield Mugshots (springfield.mugshot.press) – takes arrest records come from the Greene County Sheriff’s Website. Unlike other websites, this one actually has a mugshot removal form. They will remove mugshots within 10 days of a request without proof of innocence.
- pdx mugshots (pdxmugshots.com) – collects information from the Multnomah County Sheriff’s office, but has no affiliation. They provide an email for removal requests here: [email protected]
New Mugshot Removal Laws
Lawmakers are working to shut down these websites by allowing citizens to file lawsuits against them. For example, Georgia state introduced a new law that now makes it a crime for websites to charge Georgia citizens to have their mugshot removed. Websites will now have 30 days to remove a photo, and noncompliance is a violation of the law. Here’s a list of the 18 states that currently ban arrest websites from charging mugshot removal fees as of 2018:
Google Targets Sites Displaying Mugshots Online
Google has moved swiftly to shut down the practice of mugshot extortion. The search engine company launched a new algorithm in October 2013 that specifically targeted mugshot sites. As a result, arrest photos were removed from Google search results. While mugshots still exist online, they may no longer rank in the top results for a person’s name.
Payment Processors Abandon Mugshot Websites
As part of an investigation of the industry, New York Times reporter David Segal alerted payment processors to the fact that these websites were using their services to earn money. Nearly every company Segal spoke to dropped mugshot websites as customers, including MasterCard, PayPal, American Express, and Discover. “We decided to discontinue support for payments related to mugshot removal services,” said PayPal spokesman John Pluhowski.
How Long do Mugshots Stay Online?
With lower visibility in Google search engine results and limited methods of payment, mugshot websites appear to be losing steam. While online mugshots are no longer as lucrative as before, they’re still able to profit in other ways. Specifically, these shady websites now make money through Bing, Yahoo and Google ads for bail bonds. As long as websites host mugshots online, your arrest photo could show up.
Though mugshots no longer rank high enough to dominate your search results, they do still pose a problem. Websites like mugshotsgainesville.com, mugshotsonline.com, and bustedmugshots.com state that booked inmates can’t pay to have their pictures removed, but they can wait. Many of these sites now claim mugshots will only stay online for a maximum of 90 days.
That’s good news for people with prior arrests.
How to Remove Mugshots from Google
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 a “courtesy removal service.” If you can prove your innocence, they may remove your photo. Additionally, website owners may take down your photo if you can demonstrate that you’ve turned your life around. 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 be in violation of 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.
- Wait. Many mugshot websites now remove arrest images after 30, 60 or 90 days. While it may not be ideal, at least getting your image off the internet is now free.
Remove vs bury negative search results
It’s not always possible to remove search results from the Google. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, nefarious website owners simply refuse to help. If that’s the case, you’ll need to push down negative search results using some basic ORM tactics.
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