Can I Find Mugshots Online?


We’ve all had a laugh at it one time or another. A celebrity mugshot that shows a glamorous actress disheveled or a superstar athlete glassy-eyed and wasted. Beyond the Lohans, Noltes, and Tigers of the world, mugshots and arrest records are available online in a variety of circumstances. While it could depend on the state or the municipality where the arrest took place, there are ways to gave some information and possibly photo proof to go with it. Let’s explore some of the ways you can learn about an offense.

Browsing for Pics

Sometimes a simple Google search can pull up public information and a conviction record for an inmate or defendant in a criminal case. However, GoLookUp is making it even easier to find busted mugshots in real-time from all over the United States. Their system is updated on a daily basis with the latest mugshot records from the county sheriff’s office. These photos are not always public access, and GoLookUp requires that any users of their service abide by FCRA rules that follow court of law practices.

It’s important to remember that a mugshot is not an admission of guilt, nor does it represent evidence that can be used in the courthouse. This is simply part of arrest data from a police department on a suspect. Through these searches, arrest records can come up for prior bookings or convictions. You may be able to get basic information along with the record of arrests, such as incarceration rates and national average information related to a criminal conviction.

Local Law Enforcement

You may be wondering ‘where are arrest records public?’ The truth is that this information can usually be obtained through a public record request through your local government or local law enforcement agency. This will alert you to the current arrest and mugshot, along with any other entries to a rap sheet over time. Depending on processing, it could take time for these police records to be able to do the general public. You may be able to get confirmation of the arrest before getting any true details regarding the alleged criminal activity.

In states, counties, and cities where arrests are a matter of public record, you’ll be able to reach out to a district attorney’s office or law enforcement agency for more specific information related to a booking, and potential charges. While an arrest report can provide details on the incident that led to a person walking away in handcuffs, prosecutors and DAs can provide more insight into the case. Certain information, like mugshots or fingerprints, may only be obtained through specific legal means for a background check, or through efforts within the judicial branch to bar some information from public record.

Restrictions May Apply

While most states allow for members of the public to submit a request for an arrest report, other states and cities are pushing to keep mugshots confidential. In New York City, there are stringent limitations on who may access a mugshot in certain matters of public safety. Oftentimes, police will use an ID or driver’s license photo of a suspect to provide to news organizations when they present a record of arrest.

Cases of federal law may also bar access to mugshots until a person is convicted of the crimes they have been booked on, only then registering a photo with their department of corrections. Depending on circumstances, details of the arrest can be eliminated from the public record through the courts. This is a process known as expungement, keeping certain arrest data from seeing the light of day. Be sure to explore the rules in your area to see how much knowledge of one’s criminal history you may be able to accrue.

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