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How to Get Mugshot Removed from the Internet 

August 21, 2022

This guide walks you through how to get your mugshot removed from the internet. 

It’s a scenario more common than anyone might think: Someone’s mugshot (or booking photo) showing up in a Google search. This can not only be humiliating for that individual but can also damage their reputation and harm their family and friends.

Luckily, there are ways to remove a mugshot from search results. Read on and learn how to delete mugshots from the Internet and why they end up there in the first place.

Why mugshots end up online

Mugshots are public records accessible to anyone. Therefore, publishing mugshots online is not illegal in most states. 

Several mugshot websites (like provide mugshot photos and arrest records.

These mugshot sites are the reason anyone can find your mugshot image (and any potential criminal charges) by looking you up on a search engine like Google.

Many of these sites claim to be a “news and information” service, but the truth is that publishing a mugshot is just good business in most cases.

Dangers of mugshots published online

Even if you were never found guilty of, or even charged with, a crime, an online mugshot can have lasting and irreparable damage to your offline and online reputation.

This can include harm to personal relationships, inaccurate background checks, a potential employer’s poor perception of you (hampering your employment opportunities), and the inability to secure housing.

If you own a business, news of an arrest could also severely affect sales and partnerships.

How to remove a mugshot from the Internet 

The bottom line is that the longer a mugshot circulates on the internet once published, the harder it will be to get rid of it. Acting fast is imperative to the success of getting it removed.

1. Contact the webmaster

First of all, the best chance to get a mugshot removed from wherever it’s published is to contact the website owner directly and politely request the image be taken down.

To find website contact information, look for details on the site itself. Also, domain ownership can be searched using If you can’t reach the site owner, try contacting the site’s hosting company.

Some websites may have specific terms and conditions for removing images, so make sure to read any removal policy carefully. You should also express your request clearly and professionally. 

Sometimes, a site might ask for payment to remove a mugshot. 

Depending on where you live, this might be illegal. For example, in Florida, individuals have the right to request the removal of their mugshot by businesses that publish and disseminate booking photos, and they may not solicit or accept a fee for doing so. 

Florida dissemination of arrest booking photographs

Several other states, including California, Georgia, and Texas, have similar laws.

2. Send an “Image Removal Request” to Google

If having your mugshot online presents a significant privacy risk, you can contact Google. 

To send a removal request to Google, choose the type of request you’re making, fill out the form, and submit it. 

Request personal content removal from Google Search form

However, don’t be surprised if they can’t help. 

Google’s removal policies are strict, and they won’t remove the mugshot unless it violates particular guidelines or for specific legal reasons, like copyright infringement or court order.

This removal request only applies to Google search results. The mugshot will still exist on the website where it was originally published and will appear on other search engine results (like DuckDuckGo).

3. Bury the mugshot in positive search results

If the previous steps didn’t work, another option is to try to bury the negative search results. This means creating new content that ranks higher than the mugshot.

There are online reputation management companies that can do this for you. You can also do it yourself (this can be a time-consuming project).

Google search results that appear first are deemed most relevant for users. To determine that relevance, algorithms look at factors like keywords, page authority and usability, quality of content, expertise of sources, and a user’s location and settings. The page that hits the most of these factors is ranked the highest.  

You could try to create new content on high-authority pages. For example, you could: 

  • Create public social media profiles on well-known platforms (Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok, etc.)
  • Create a Wikipedia page.
  • Gain positive media mentions on high-authority websites and publications.

While the mugshot itself won’t be removed, it could be buried so far down the search results that no one will ever see it.

4. Expunge your criminal record

In some instances, it can be possible to get a criminal record expunged. This means selected or listed arrests and convictions will be removed from it entirely. 

It also means that the mugshot associated with any arrest or conviction will also be deleted.

When expungement eligibility is determined, one can file a petition with the court that heard the original case. Once the process is finished (and the verdict is favorable to you), the mugshot will be removed from public records. 

5. Hire a data removal service

As time is of the essence in this situation, your best option to speed up the mugshot removal process might be to get help from data privacy experts instead of trying to do everything yourself. 

DeleteMe removes personal information (including mugshots and online arrest records but also contact details like home addresses and phone numbers, education, and employment history, and family details) from mugshot and data broker sites that post criminal records to prevent it from being used, shared, or sold. 

Data broker background check

Keep your information private in the long run

Whether it’s your mugshot or contact details, removing your personal information from the internet once is rarely enough.

Once it’s out there, personal data never really goes away. To keep your online presence to a minimum, you must be mindful of your digital footprint. Never share personal information unnecessarily (on social media, forums, apps, etc.), and regularly reassess what personal data is out there by searching for yourself online.

If you enlist the help of DeleteMe, our privacy experts will continuously check mugshot websites and other data brokers to ensure your personal information doesn’t reappear on their sites. 

Will Simonds runs Senior Marketing Operations at DeleteMe, and is a steadfast privacy advocate who has a resolute dedication to online privacy solutions and helping people regain their privacy. …

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