Mugshots rank among the most damaging images published online. Whether it’s a picture of you wearing an orange jumpsuit or that nondescript painted cinder block wall in the background, the association of you and crime will be burned into people’s memory. That association can have a devastating impact on your business, employment, and the relationships you once enjoyed. The faster you get that mugshot off the internet, the better your chances of minimizing the damage.
How Do Mugshots End Up On Social Media?
When police departments and law enforcement agencies make an arrest, it’s standard procedure to photograph the person for their records. Some departments routinely publish arrest reports and accompanying mugshots on their official website. While embarrassing to the individual, this practice is typically not unlawful.
In other instances, state laws prohibit law enforcement from publishing mugshots even though the U.S. Supreme Court says no right to privacy exists. One of the driving reasons some states refrain is primarily because getting arrested and convicted are entirely different. We all know that when someone sees a mugshot, words such as “guilty,” “dangerous,” and “criminal” are triggered. Unethical media sources buy leaked mugshots because they know the click-bait value is high.
Troubling Ways Mugshots Negatively Impact Reputation
Take a moment and consider the saying, “your reputation precedes you.” What does that really mean? Is someone telling you that others have spoken glowingly or harshly about you? Are they saying an opinion about your characters has already been formed? Probably both.
Living in the information age means everyone has immediate access to articles, blog posts, platforms, and photographs. Your mugshot will undoubtedly precede you if not promptly removed. These are some of the common struggles everyday people suffer due to published mugshots.
- Financial Losses: Regardless of whether you are innocent or have served a sentence, that mugshot shackles your ability to earn a living. It will crop up when potential employers run a simple Google search. If you are a business owner, customers are more than likely to see that small pic in their social media feed and take their business elsewhere. It’s going to cost you money until it’s taken down and fades in people’s memory.
- Tarnished Relationships: If you are single and wish to have any type of meaningful relationship, your romantic interest will probably operate under the “trust but verify” policy. It’s one thing to be transparent about an arrest or conviction. It’s another for someone to see physical proof. Either you’ll get dumped or doubt about your character will take root in the other person’s mind.
- Community Participation: The gossip about a neighbor getting arrested spreads like wildfire, and it’s hard for people to resist running a search. Outside of the humiliation, community organizations will think twice about including you. If you’re a parent with a child who participates in sports or other community-based activities, that mugshot may be an insurmountable barrier for you to coach or volunteer. Imagine the disappointment your child could experience because of a mistake that won’t go away.
The damage a mugshot does to your quality of life grows exponentially every time someone in your orbit sees it. Fortunately, there are things you can do to stop the reputation bleeding.
How Can You Get A Mugshot Taken Down?
Social media outlets and search engines such as Google may be inclined to remove arrest records if you make a case that it unjustly damages your reputation. You may have to provide these outlets with proof you were not convicted. Even then, they may weigh their financial benefit against your interests. Making matters worse, the mugshot could be trending for months and pollinate to other platforms.
The longer the image circulates, the worse things will get. That’s why it’s typically in your best interest to work with a reputation management firm that knows how to get that mugshot removed.