TMCnet Feature
October 27, 2021

How to Find Mugshots Online: The Complete Guide

The booking process involves the recording of the personal information of arrestees. When people are taken into custody and they are suspected of committing a crime, the police will record their personal information, and that includes photographing mugshots. The mugshot has great importance for both the booking and further legal procedures. If you need to find a certain individual's mugshot, you can do so in several ways. How to find mugshots online quickly and easily – the full guide.

First thing's first, are mugshots public records?

The answer is Yes and No. Generally speaking, all the states in the U.S. (beside Louisiana) have made mugshots a public record. The mugshots are taken from different angles so that law enforcement agencies will have a visual record of arrestees. The mugshots are recorded and saved for further legal proceedings.

As part of the Freedom of Information Act in the country, mugshots are available not only to law enforcement agencies but also to the general public. Those who want to find mugshots of themselves and/or other people can find photos in various ways. However, if certain records have been sealed or expunged, the mugshots will not be available.

In the case of juveniles, criminal records, including mugshots, are not available to the public. Also, each jurisdiction can decide whether it allows the public to view criminal records and mugshots. There are several places in the United States, like New York, that limit access to public records. So, the only way to discover if an individual's mugshot is available is to search for the mugshot.

How to find mugshots online

There are several ways to find mugshots online, and the following are the most useful methods:

Go to the PrisonHandbook website

The official PrisonHandbook website offers access to arrest records and criminal records. When you go on the website, you need to choose the state in which you perform the search. In this case, you need to choose the state in which the arrest took place. Afterward, choose the jail where the arrestee was held. There will be a link to the jail's website under "Links and resources". Scroll through the page to find the person whose mugshot you want to find.

Search a state sex offender registry

If you want to find out if someone is a registered sex offender or the mugshot of a known sex offender, you can perform an online mugshot search. Type in the name of the state along with "sex offender registry" into the search engine of your choice. You can then perform a more localized search on the official state registry.

Such websites provide mugshot photos of people who have been convicted of sex crimes. Also, sex offender registries provide basic information about registered sex offenders, such as their current area of residence and the crimes they have committed.

Go to a state department of corrections website

States in the US operate an online directory for searching data about inmates. An inmate locator search can help you find inmates and inmate records – including their mugshots. To perform an online mugshot search, type in the name of the state in question into a search engine of your choice, along with "department of corrections.

You will receive links to the official department of corrections website. At the link, browse for a "Prisoner Search", "Offender Search" directory, or similar links. Click on the link and search for the inmate that you want to find.

Use a people search directory

Another method for finding mugshots online is using a people search directory, like GoLookUp. The website provides unlimited access to public records, so you can find mugshots of as many people as you desire. To find a mugshot, you will need to enter the full name of the person in question and the state in which the arrest took place, or the state in which the person is currently residing.

Based on this information, GoLookUp's public records directory will scan public records, until it finds the necessary data. The search is quick, and at the end of it, you will receive a public records report about the person in question. If the said person was arrested, her/his mugshot will appear in the report, along with their criminal records.

To get accurate results, you must correctly spell the name of the person that you are looking for. If you are unsure how to spell a name, you can try several variations. You can also get access to people's public records with other directories that are available on the website: phone number search, email search, address search. You can provide the phone number/email address/living address of an individual to get access to their public records. Each query lasts several moments, and you can perform unlimited searches on the website.

How to find mugshots online: the bottom line

Mugshots are public records, so you need to use a service that provides you with access to public records. There are several methods for finding mugshots, and you can discover a great deal about people with this type of search.

If you need information about people that you met online, potential business partners, people who are a part of your children's lives, or any other person – a mugshot search is very helpful. A people search engine is the most comprehensive mugshot search directory, so you should start your search there to increase your chances of getting the answers that you need.  

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