When a person gets arrested, regardless of the offense, law enforcement agencies take a mug shot and make it publicly available online almost immediately. A mug shot is the photography of an arrestee taken after the individual has been booked. Today, various laws govern the posting of mug shots online and companies and individuals can use these online websites to find valuable information about persons of interest. Read on to learn how to find arrest records and mugshots online.
Use mugshot search websites.
You can find mug shots online by using robust mugshot search websites. Simply visit the website and input the first name, last name, and true current location of the person. If you don’t know the person’s name, you can narrow your search by selecting a county or city.
While some online services charge a fee, many others provide access to a significant amount of public databases at no charge. These databases can help you find mugshots and other useful information about any individual that has ever been arrested or convicted of a criminal offense.
Check your state’s department of corrections website.
Every state in the United States has a department of corrections website that contains the information of arrestees. Interestingly, some states also publish mug shot photographs on their regional websites. Not only this but many local jails also allow web users to view mug shots online, so you can check to see if there’s a direct link to the jail’s website. If you don’t know the web address, use Google to find your state’s department of corrections’ authentic website. Keep an eye out for any link with the description “Prisoner Locator”, “Offender Search”, or “Prisoner Search”. You can also enter the inmate’s name or number to access their arrest record or mugshot. You can also find additional information such as the date of incarceration, booking date, and expected release date. Best of all, this method of finding information online is free.
Scour sex offender registries.
For many people, posting mugshots online is considered a communal act aimed at warning the general public about unscrupulous people in the local area. Sometimes, an arrest may not lead to a conviction; this is why it’s important to ensure you have the right person. Wrongfully accused persons usually have their names besmirched and reputations tarnished.
Fortunately, many states have enacted pieces of legislation that make it possible to have the arrest expunged from the public record. However, the records of convicted felons remain evergreen in public records. Let’s say you’re looking for the arrest record or mugshot of a convicted sex offender; consider searching sex offender registries. The law mandates convicted sex offenders to register at their local sheriff’s office.
Sheriff departments maintain a comprehensive database of all registered sex offenders across the country. Alternatively, you can visit your state’s online sex offender database to find information on convicted sex offenders.
Use search engines.
Advancements in technology have made it possible for people to erase their mugshots from the internet. Keep in mind that people whose cases were sealed or expunged from public records can have their photographs removed on those grounds. It may or may not go without saying that the internet never forgets. Notable internet search engines like Bing and Google often keep these photographs in their images section. By Googling a person’s name along with the keyword “mugshot”, for example, chances are that you can find the person’s mugshot on Google Images. While this method may not be foolproof, it’s easy and free.
All in all, U.S. federal law mandates states to create and maintain sex offender databases. So searching online for arrest records and mugshots has become easier than ever.