What Types of Criminals Have Their Pictures Posted in Mugshots Online?


Quick Answer

Anyone who has ever been arrested and booked by law enforcement may have a mugshot published online. Mugshots are part of the public record and not an indication of guilt of a crime.

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What Types of Criminals Have Their Pictures Posted in Mugshots Online?
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Full Answer

A mugshot is a photo taken during detention and booking of a person's face and head. It is part of the public record, along with the reason for the arrest. Because they are part of the booking record, a person arrested for any type of crime may have a mugshot released online. Mugshots are not evidence of a crime and each person is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

There are several reasons for publishing mugshots online. One reason is to allow for transparency in the justice system. Family and friends can easily locate the accused; he or she is not hidden in secret. The formal charge is also listed with the photo. According to the 6th amendment of the U.S. Constitution, those accused of a crime have the right to a speedy and public trial and to know what they are charged with, so they may appropriately prepare a defense.

A second reason is to protect the public and support law enforcement. Citizens provide support by identifying criminals who are on the run and individuals of interest in a case. The availability of mugshots online also allows people to know more about those living nearby, working alongside them or teaching their children.

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