Many states make mugshots publicly available as soon as the individual is arrested. Within 24 hours of someone’s arrest, you can find their mugshot online. While having public access to mugshots can be of benefit to the community, an arrest isn’t the same as a guilty verdict. In the absence of this distinction, a mugshot can damage someone’s reputation or even cost them their job. Here’s what you can get from a mugshot search and why you need to do one.
What Information do Mugshots Provide?
Going beyond information about an arrest, a booking photo may capture details about someone when they committed a crime. These details often include the condition the person was in when they were arrested. This is because details surrounding their clothing, visible injuries, and indications of being under the influence can be important elements to consider during a trial. The mugshot captures all of these.
Benefits to the Community
Members of the community see booking photos as something that can help them watch out for con artists in their area. Police might take mugshots as part of an arrest, but many people are released pre-trial. They go back to their communities and neighborhoods. Therefore, it can be of benefit to members of the community to look at booking photos of people arrested in the area and keep an eye on them once they’re out of jail.
Some crimes are of high risk to the community. These include serious transgressions such as violent crimes or crimes committed against children. Other crimes don’t indicate much of a risk; they’re merely embarrassing to the perpetrator. Either way, members of the community feel safer knowing whom to avoid.
Booking photos can assist witnesses and victims in identifying criminal defendants. In addition, mugshots are part of the justice system database that police can use to get information about other crimes.
Employment and Tenancy Background Checks
An obvious reason why you might want to find a mugshot is for the purposes of an employment or tenancy screening. Specifically, you may want to know whether the person you’re considering as an employee or tenant has ever been arrested or convicted of a crime. Again, it’s important to make the distinction between an arrest and a conviction, as well as the relevance of the crime to the job in the case of employment background checks.
Personal Reasons Of Mugshot
You might have met someone online and want to make sure their slate is clean. Finding a promising new partner’s mugshot can be quite distressing. However, it is important to know their criminal history to keep yourself safe.
Tendencies in Mugshot Accessibility
While mugshots are usually considered public records, it’s up to the authorities in the respective jurisdiction to make them publicly accessible. Some jurisdictions release them to the press in exchange for a fee. Many states have adopted laws to restrict their availability online – including laws banning sites from charging fees to take photos down, or from publishing photos entirely, and limiting private sector access to mugshots.