A Step-by-Step Guide to Find Your Mugshots or Arrest Records for Free
Suppose you have just met a stranger and you need to proceed with the meeting for some purpose. At some point, you feel there are some issues with this guy that makes you feel a bit uncomfortable. So what you can do right at that moment is check for the mugshots by following any of the ways explained in this article.
Not necessarily will the stranger have criminal records, but it’s for your safety in the long run.
A Few Facts about Mugshots
First, let’s focus on knowing what a mugshot is. A mugshot is the criminal or arrest record, significantly, a picture taken by the law enforcement department when a suspect is arrested. Mugshots usually cover side profiles and front-faced images of the detained fellow.
The law enforcement department of different states, cities, or counties uploads the mugshots online on several reliable sites unless they are confidential. You will get free online services to find your mugshot online. Other than the online searches, you can also visit in person to the State Department.
However, you might be wondering if mugshots are public records. Sometimes, you may not get the mugshot copy of the arrested individual because of the charges’ types. The Freedom of Information Act Law has limited and restricted the police department from releasing mugshots until the suspect is found guilty.
It’s for the individual’s privacy that should be maintained in the first place. Otherwise, it’s pretty easy to get a copy if you can show valid reasons for having it.
Press releases, media coverage, etc., have access to find mugshots very easily. For example, celebrity mugshots are available in a lot easier way compared to ordinary people.
Usually, mugshots may remain online for free for about 90 days on some commercial websites. But in some states, mugshots won’t stay on websites for more than 30 days. After that, you may not find mugshots for free online, but visiting the police department for criminal records can help.
Sometimes, if the mugshots are not removed from the website or on the law enforcement department’s order, they can appear forever online. However, the state departments have been proactive in keeping the personal privacy protection of the individuals whether they are guilty or not.
The following easy guideline will help you reach out to the mugshots you have been looking for for a while.
Get Mugshots Online for Free
1. One of the most convenient processes to find mugshots online is to search on some reliable sites. For example, findmugshots.com, recordsfinder.com, prisonhandbook.com, etc., are free sites where you just put the first and last name of the suspect with the state or county’s name, and there you go!
If the suspected individual has criminal records from the past or present time, it will show up with the result. And if the individual’s history is somewhat confidential to share with the public, you will not get any information or mugshot.
If you don’t get a name, consider searching only with the state or county’s result. Once the browsing result shows up, you can input only the first letter of the last name.
The prisonhandbook.com website will direct you to the jail’s website. However, you may not find detailed information from each prison. But some mugshots might be available online.
Before choosing any particular website for searching for a mugshot, consider knowing it’s the right and secure door to knock for.
2. It’s wise to find the police department or law enforcement department’s website where the suspect was arrested or from the local sheriff’s department. Thus, you can find the desired mugshot result easily.
3. Visiting the department of corrections website of your state using the inmate locator can also help you find mugshots of the suspects or prisoners. Consider searching based on the prisoner’s locator, name, number, etc., which leads you to the perfect result.
4. Searching the sex offender’s history from your state can show up the mugshot you are looking for. Sometimes, some rare mugshots that usually don’t get exposed online can also be found in this sex offender’s registry.
To get the copy, you have to input all the required information as other search processes.
5. Consider checking both the local police station and the county courthouse’s websites with the required information of the arrested individual. Make sure the information is valid and includes as many details as possible.
6. Also, keep searching on online newspaper sites from the criminal’s state, city, or county to get the best result. All you have to do is narrow down your search and input only the most relevant information.
7. Sometimes, only searching the name on Google with the social media photos may help you find the mugshot if uploaded online.
Get Mugshots from the Police Department in Person
1. First, you have to stop by your local police station and report your request to the duty officer. It’s better to choose a regular business hour to get the best service. In most of the state’s police departments, you will find the mugshot based on the location.
But if it’s unavailable currently, you should know the arrest records are kept to the lawyers for further investigations and privacy issues.
2. If visiting the police station doesn’t help, you can see your county courthouse instead. Though it might be a challenging procedure, yet it will help. It’s better to go to the county courthouse where the individual got arrested.
If you can’t be there in person, contacting them over the phone and giving the details might help.
Mugshots are considered as another form of identification of an individual. Before using any free tools or websites online searching for mugshots, make sure it’s authentic and secure. Otherwise, consider visiting your local police department to get the mugshots more authentically.
You will find no error and risk issues out there if you are feeling insecure a bit online. However, it’s okay, and mugshots are somewhat public records that everyone can look for.