Are Mugshot Websites Legal?
Prior to the days of the Internet, people could hide the fact that they were arrested at some point in their lives because it was not easy to find mugshots. Even though mugshots have always been public record and available to anyone who wants to see them, people still had to be made aware of an arrest and then had to go through the process of searching the police records to find a mugshot.
Pre-Internet Reputation Management
Defending your public reputation before the 90s was more of a focused task. The outlets that could print or distribute damaging information were easier to monitor because there were not nearly as many of them around. Today, the Internet offers instant information to millions of people all over the world and some of that information can be very damaging to your public reputation. Search (Google et al) makes this information available almost instantaneously.
Since mug shots are damaging to a person’s reputation and legally available to the public, it can be easy for someone to post a mugshot on a website and make it available to anyone that wants to see it. The various police departments around the country post mugshots as public domain and mugshot website owners copy and post those pictures on their websites.
A mugshot website leaves no question as to whose picture is being posted. Each mugshot is accompanied by the person’s name, the charge they were arrested for, the person’s address and the arresting officer’s name. If there is any other information included in the public arrest report, such as a phone number, then that information is included on the website as well.
Removing Your Mugshot
There are only two ways to get your mugshot removed from a mugshot website. You can apply to the courts to have your records sealed, or you can pay a fee to each mugshot website to have your picture and information removed.
Applying to have your records sealed is an expensive process that usually does not result in the request being granted. That means that you will have to pay to have your picture removed. If your mugshot is on 20 mugshot websites, then you will have to pay 20 times to have it removed. However, most webmasters who own these sites own a bunch more. So, paying to have these removed is not really a viable strategy to clean up your name from online search results.
Is It Legal?
Since mugshots are considered public record, posting them on any website is legal. Private website owners can put all of the publicly available information they want on their websites, and those website owners can also develop any policies they want to have certain content removed. Posting your mugshot on a website is legal, and forcing you to pay to have it removed is legal as well.
Fight Fire with Fire
If you are facing the challenge of having your mugshot and personal information posted on a variety of mugshot websites, then you do have options. We can help you to get your mugshot pushed so far down on the search engine results that it would never be seen. Not only will we bury these pictures on the search engines, we will push positive content about you up to the top of Google search engine results pages.
Each mugshot website utilizes certain keywords to get your mugshot to the top of search engine results pages. The higher up on page 1 your mugshot appears, the more urgently you will feel the need to have it removed. We know what strategies the mugs hot websites are using, and we will create new Internet content that will push your mugs hot off of page 1 of your search results.
There will be articles created that feature your name and all of your positive accomplishments posted to blog sites and Internet article sites that get large amounts of traffic. The use of the right keywords in those articles will mean that the positive content will replace the mugs hot content by ranking higher than the mugs hot.
We will also work to get new images of you up on the Internet that gives you a professional and responsible image. By attaching the proper tags to those pictures, you will start to see a much more positive image of you appearing on Internet image searches.
When it comes to personal names appearing in Internet searches, few things are more powerful than the social media. You can use your Facebook and Twitter accounts to encourage people to make positive statements about you. As your name starts to circulate in a positive manner on the various social media outlets, then you will start to see that appear on your Internet search results. Those results will further aid to push the mugs hot results down.
You can also start to post videos of yourself doing charitable acts and appearing at civic events on the free video hosting websites. The more traffic you generate to those videos by using positive Internet tags, the better your Internet search results will be.
If you have a mugshot that appears on a mugshot website, then you need to take immediate action. Rather than paying hundreds, or possibly thousands of dollars to mugshot websites to remove your picture and information, you can have a professional online reputation management firm handle the situation for you.
With the right kind of reputation management approach, your good name can be restored while the transgressions of your past are buried forever deep in the pages of an Internet search engine. You can replace that small amount of negative publicity with a significant amount of positive information. Controlling your name on search results is also a great long term strategy as internet and search will only become more prominent in the future.
Optimum 7 is ready to help you reclaim your good reputation. We will get to work immediately analyzing the situation and then putting an effective plan into place that will replace the mugshot websites with professional images and words about you on the Internet search engines. Contact us today and let us get started on your reputation management program.