Have you ever gotten into enough trouble with the law to warrant a mugshot? You’re not alone; in fact, you’ve probably got a lot more company than you might assume. Having a mugshot that’s available online can make certain tasks in life a little more difficult, like interviewing for jobs and passing background checks.
Wondering how to see your mugshot online?
You have a lot of resources available to you, many of which will provide you with additional information along with your mugshot.
Check these sources out so you can see what others see when they search for your criminal history.
5 Tips to Find Your Mugshot Online
1. Start With Google
When trying to figure out how to find your mugshot, begin your mugshot search with the simple and free Google search.
First, simply type in your name by itself. If you have a common name, your information might not display for several pages of results.
Click over to the image search and see if your mugshot displays in the first few pages of results. If it doesn’t, you at least know that a cursory Google search for you won’t pull up your mugshot first thing.
Your subsequent Google searches should include keywords. First, search for your name with the word “mugshot” after it. Check both the listed results and the images. Then try your name with “record” or “arrest record” to see if that triggers any hits.
Whether or not Google turns up your mugshot easily, you should continue to search for it so that you understand how other people might be able to find it.
2. Try a Mugshot Database
You can also check specific mugshot databases when you want to find your mugshot. The Smoking Gun and Checkthem.com offer big databases full of mugshots.
You simply type in your name using the search feature and see if your mugshot comes up.
2 Popular Mugshot Databases are:
- Checkthem.com offers more comprehensive results. It pulls data directly from state and county arrest records, and you get mugshots along with other information, like hair color, eye color, height, and age. Note that Checkthem.com offers other background check services and will give you the most detailed overview about yourself or anyone you search.
- Smoking Gun Search. If you click on a random picture at The Smoking Gun, it may not have a name attached. So, your mugshot might be on the website but without your name. When you search your name, however, documents or articles about your arrest record might pop up. This is a good way to do a more comprehensive search about your own history.
3. Check Jail and Prison Systems
If you’re wondering how to see your mugshot online in a more official capacity, you can always go to jail and prison websites.
For a mugshot that’s older, if you don’t remember what county you were arrested in (especially if you were on vacation or had a spring break mishap), you can check the County Jail Search from Ancestor Hunt. It’s very extensive and will give you a good start in how to find your mugshot through the county jail where you were arrested and booked.
You can also head to Corrections.com or Use A Mobile App to search through inmate databases and criminal records. Even if you’ve already discovered your mugshot online, it’s not a bad idea to see what information about you these search engines turn up. Knowing everywhere your mugshot can be found is smart. VINE has a mobile app that you can use, too.
4. Request Public Records
When searching for your own mugshot, you can request a copy of the picture from your local or state government, depending on who arrested you. You might have to visit the office in person, but try online first. Check the state or local website to see if there’s an online form you can fill out. Every state and local government will have a slightly different system, so read the directions carefully.
If you want to find your state’s online database, type “Department of Corrections” and your state’s name into a Google search. Once there, search the database for your name. Your mugshot should pop up if it’s part of the public record. Keep in mind that if you’re currently engaged in legal proceedings for the offense that got you the mugshot, it might be a sealed record. In that case, your mugshot won’t be in these public databases.
Your local law enforcement office might not offer your mugshot online, which is why requesting the information is sometimes necessary. However, a simple search will tell you whether or not that information is available to other people.
5. Conduct a Paid Search
To simply find your mugshot online, you shouldn’t need to conduct a paid search. Only if your mugshot is proving almost impossible to discover would something like a paid background check on yourself help you to find your own mugshot. You know it exists, even if you can’t find it, and in this case, a paid search is helpful.
Start with the free avenues and move to paid ones last. If you have a mugshot, a background check on yourself to see what others might dig up on you isn’t the worst idea.
Paid services also come in handy when you want to have your record sealed or expunged. You need the help of an attorney in many cases, but removing your mugshot from official sites happens once your record isn’t available publicly. This can help you during job searches or when you’re moving to a new neighborhood.
Remember that your mugshot will remain in some corners of the internet because it’s impossible to completely remove something once it’s online.
Once you’ve found your own mugshot, you can use this information to find other mugshots, and you might have some fun discovering who else you know who has run afoul of the law. You also now know how other people might encounter your mugshot. If your mugshot is relatively new and hasn’t appeared on some of these databases, wait a while and search again.
However, if your mugshot is still relatively hard to find, you can try to act fast and get your records sealed before it becomes more widely spread.