March 16, 2021, Posted By John M

How to Navigate the Removal Process

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If you’ve landed yourself in trouble with the law, chances are your mugshot or arrest record has appeared online on public records databases. A company like and displays relevant and up-to-date reports of arrests and criminal records for the benefit of the wider community. If you have been arrested and see your mugshot on their website, with the proper legal documents that outline a dismissal or expungement, they will remove the information nine times out of ten. You will find removal will not apply to those convicted of serious violent crimes or sex crimes.

Everyone deserves a second chance, especially if the arrest and corresponding mugshot is due to a lapse in judgment. You may not realize it is possible to remove all traces of your mugshot and arrest record from the internet. Online arrest records can be difficult to remove completely from the internet. You can pay to remove a mugshot one at a time, but this becomes expensive and frustrating. Just as you have one mugshot removed, another one appears that’s buried deeper online.

For starters, let’s look at BustedMugshots, one of the most commonly used websites to access one’s arrest records.

Following are some common questions and answers people ask about and busted mugshots online removal.

What Happens After an Arrest?

What happens after an arrest? Your mugshot and arrest records are on file for life, according to the county, state, and federal laws. Unfortunately, some local law enforcement agencies and sites like make it easy to search your name, learn the details of your arrest, and view your busted mugshots and criminal records online.

How Is This Helpful?

By providing details of an arrest, is helpful to the general public because they can find out if a crime has taken place in their community. This service also allows potential employers to search if a candidate has a previous criminal record and, if so, how serious was the crime? It also protects families by finding out if they live near a registered sex offender or violent criminals.

What is a Mugshot?

When the police arrest you, they will also likely book you for the crime. As part of the booking process, the police will take a photo of you – commonly known as a mugshot. The mugshot will typically show a full-length front-on view, a profile, and a close-up photo from the waist up.

Why do Companies Specialize in Publishing Arrest Records?

Companies specialize in the publication of mugshots for transparency and because it’s legal in some states. This means that a mugshot can be available online within 24 hours of an arrest. Many parents, employers, and other citizens feel it is their right to know who their neighbors are and who they are employing to ensure their family’s safety and the safety of the workplace.

What are the Potential Consequences of an Online Mugshot?

An arrest doesn’t always translate into a conviction, and publishing an arrest record and mugshot can be damaging to a person’s reputation even if found not guilty. A person may lose their job or or other employment opportunities when employers request info on prior arrests. The arrest record or mugshot may appear online even after the court drops the case or finds you not guilty.

Do any States Prevent the Publication of Mugshots?

Currently, twelve states in the US have enacted laws preventing the publication of arrest details and mugshots. Some states also prevent companies charging to take the mugshots down off the internet. These states include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Virginia.

How Can I Get My Mugshot Removed?

One way to remove a mugshot is to pay for it. Some companies specialize in this service. If you wish to have these records taken down, it’s best to contact a company that is located in the State where the arrest took place.

With removal, you can contact them directly for your mugshot to be removed, especially if you have grounds for removal. Grounds for removal can include dismissed cases  and sealed or expunged records.

How do Companies Obtain Arrest Records?

Companies like obtain this information through the Freedom of Information Act. This allows them to publish this information online, as can the mainstream media. You can ask for this information to be removed; it’s not a right, only a request.

Can an Attorney Remove Mugshots Online?

They can, at a cost, which in many cases is prohibitive for the average person. By the time you pay an attorney their billable hours, you are better off paying a company that specializes in mugshot removal online. Often attorneys outsource the removal of a mugshot to specialist companies as it saves them time and money. Then they bill you with added fees so that they make money as well.

I Expunged My Record. Can Sites Still Publish my Mugshot?

The simple answer is yes. When a record is expunged, it applies to official government agencies and their records only. This is not the case for the private or commercial sector. There are currently no statutes in place for when mugshots can or can’t be posted unless prohibited by law.

A website is not obligated to accept expungements. Quite often you will find websites that publish mugshots online are offshore, therefore, do not operate with the laws of the US anyway.

How Does Mugshot Removal Work?

A company that specializes in the removal of mugshots has access to hundreds of different mugshots companies online. When contracted to remove mugshots, they search these databases to see what sites have published that person’s arrest records online.

Once they have identified where the mugshots and arrest records appear, they then work to remove the information.

A company that is good at removing arrest information online removes the information from the identified websites and removes all the associated links on Google, Bing, and Yahoo as well. This can happen within 72 hours or less, depending on the complexity. Most of these mugshot removal companies offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If the mugshot were to reappear, they would remove the links for free.

How Much Does it Cost To Remove Mugshots?

It can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars, depending on the removal process complexity. The costs would be estimated by the number of arrests and the number of sites publishing the information. You would need to get a quote to remove mugshots accordingly. Most companies offering a remove mugshot service will provide you with a free estimate.

Can I Get my Mugshot Removed Myself?

You can if you don’t want to pay someone to get your arrest details and mugshot removed. It can be a long and protracted process.

To remove a mugshot online means going to the source – usually the webmaster. They might agree to remove your details if you are lucky. The other option is to find out who owns the website through ICANN or WHOIS and explain your situation. Just send through the relevant documentation; if your case is sealed, expunged, you were found not guilty, or the case was dropped, they may remove the information for free.

How Can I Remove a Mugshot from

Busted Mugshots is one of the most comprehensive mugshot databases online. The process is the same for removing a mugshot from as any other site that published arrest details online. In the first instance, contact them directly and provide details of the arrest and the outcome by providing the relevant documentation.

How to Remove Mugshots From Google

You can also request to get mugshots removed from Google for free with a little work on your part. To have your mugshot removed from Google, provide them with your name, email, or URL and website with the mugshot, along with details of the city and state where the arrest occurred.

How Can I get my Mugshot Removed for Free?

The most effective way to remove mugshots for free is to provide the relevant documentation related to the most common grounds for removal and directly contact the website. Make sure your approach is polite and non-threatening – they are far more likely to consider your request.

What are the Common Grounds for Removal?

Some websites will remove mugshots for free for the following reasons:

  • Information sealed
  • Expungement
  • Identity theft
  • A not-guilty verdict
  • Dismissal of the case
  • Acquitted or exonerated
  • Pardoned
  • Death

How Can You Facilitate a Removal?

One of the most common sites that will facilitate the removal of a mugshot is Simply fill in your name and the state where you were arrested. It will take you to a contact page where you can submit your inquiry. You will find a “remove record” button in the upper right-hand corner of some of the pages where they have posted the mugshot.

If you don’t see a link or button on the page where your mugshot appears, that means the page won’t be found on Google. If you do see the link or button, they provide steps on the contact page to submit the request and upload relevant documentation.

How Can I Minimize the Damage?

The other thing you can do is use a reputation management company specializing in restoring a person’s reputation online. Consistently adding new articles and recent photos to the internet – can make your mugshot and arrest records get buried further down the pages in a search engine. This is a longer-term strategy using the frequency of blog articles on a variety of social media platforms. Statistically, 75% of people don’t go beyond the first page of a search.

Need a Removal Solution? We Can Help

Having your arrest details and mugshot posted online doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the world. Keep in mind; there are no guarantees; however, if this is affecting your ability to keep a job, get a new job, or it affects your relationships, you might consider paying someone to remove it.

But if you need a proven removal solution that removes that image fast, we can help. We specialize in online privacy protection and removals that put you in control of your internet reputation.

Contact our Privacy and Removal Team today to learn more.