How to Find Mugshot

How to Find Mugshot

The mugshot records generally are kept available for the public and they are particularly easy for someone to find out whether a concerned person is history sheeter or not.

The mugshot can be considered a photograph set, which is mainly taken by law enforcement agencies after they have arrested a criminal or even booked any suspect. One can find these records on online mugshot websites.

In response to the query ‘how to find mugshot’ the means to resolve the problems have arisen to support law and order management. The mugshots is the online database of law enforcement agencies having arrest records of almost 100 million.

This article provides ways through which you can find someone’s mugshots online utilizing different online apps and local law enforcement agency websites.

Are Mugshots Part of Public Records?

Each state in the US except the State of Louisiana has declared that the published mugshots fall within the definition of public record. Additionally, most state’s laws delineate that the suspect’s photos taken at the time of arrest or at the time of charging them with criminal activities falls within the ambit of public records.

However, the process of getting mugshots largely depends upon the involved agency and local police department.

In normal business hours, mugshots are treated as public record as various mugshot websites publish recent arrests. You can also see various local news website talk freely about the criminal. It is essential to mention here that certain activists and public personnel have criticized the policy of sharing mugshots online.

Mugshots Vis a Vis State Laws

In this section, we are going to discuss laws of different states which deal with mugshots and sometimes publish recent arrests on mugshot websites. We will walk you through the laws of specific states in the following section: -

Mugshots and State of Florida

As for as Florida State is concerned; the law of the land provides that all the government documents including the mugshots and arrest records of citizen or the residents and mugshots are like public information and same can be disseminated for want of good and welfare of the society.

The folk cannot get in trouble due to unawareness. It shows that in the state of Florida; any person is to free to share mugshot records without any chances of repercussions, ill will or state of mistrust.

Mugshots and State Laws of Texas

Likewise, the state laws of Texas also allowed sharing of the mugshot or recent arrests freely without facing any charges of defamation or legal proceedings. The law defined such documents comes within the contours of public information.

The Freedom of Information Act also legalized the free circulation of needful and essential reports in the largest interest of justice. Now people can access mugshots as public records. Yet certain laws require courts to send legal notices to mugshot sites for uncompliant action.

Mugshots and State Laws of Georgia

Whereas in Georgia there are, of course, certain limitations on the circulation of sensitive information of residents or citizens, yet there is no absolute ban on the dissemination of such information.

It means there is specific policy in place to protect the unwanted circulation of information that might harm the private life of the offender. It provides a sort of incentive to the offender to amend his life.

As per the state laws, government or the relevant department can freely publish mugshots only when an agreement is reached and commercial use of the information has been banned.

Mugshots and State Laws of Louisiana

Louisiana State is one of the few states which put some sort of limitations on publishing mugshot’s arrest records online. Unlike the state of Georgia, Louisiana State has passed laws that ban the release of mugshot photos before conviction.

This step on the part of the state of Louisiana is a positive step that respects privacy of an individual. Now the law allows the law enforcement agencies to prove conviction before releasing records of criminal charges on mugshot websites.

In the state of Louisiana, no one can interfere in the private life of someone else even if the former is convicted or accused. Nobody is allowed to share someone’s records on social media.

Is accessing mugshots Right of General Public?

It is a basic right of the public to have access to booking records of criminal activities in their region or county. In this way they can also learn what the state is doing about the crimes.

That is the reason why law enforcement agencies release mugshot arrest records to help inform the general public and give public access about the crimes and criminals in their region. In a way, they are also enabling the public to take ‘preventive’ measures.

Law enforcement agencies and the judicial system of the US are now more focused on releasing the mugshots of individuals who has been arrested and convicted.

Publishing Mugshots Damage Respect

The mugshots and arrested records if published online can bring a lot of shame and dishonor in the society. When the records are published online it can cause a lot of stress beside other issues.

In most states, it has caused disrespect and dishonor to people after their time in jail. Additionally, it can cause loss of employment, loss of good housing, and hinder personal growth.

Therefore, even though it is easy to find someone’s criminal records, the recent actions by the police and law enforcement agencies in the US have helped in reducing such incidents. Therefore, it has also been reported that some data was taken off from the police department websites.

In majority of the states in the US, the law enforcement websites now gave public access to mugshots after confirming the crime to have been happened in real time.

How to Find someone’s Mugshot Online?

If you are a researcher or working on a case and want to access mugshot records online, here are ways that exists online on social media which you can use to search mugshots: -

Visit the “Find Mugshots” Website

By searching the website of ‘Find Mugshots’, one can get access to someone’s records online. If you access the website’s link, the homepage will display the find mugshots search bar.

You can enter a person’s first and last name in the search bar to access their criminal records on online databases such as “find mugshot”. You can also search records of a specific state by selecting that state or county.

mugshot website

After selecting the state or county, you can easily browse for mugshots by entering their “first” and “last name”. Interestingly, certain mugshots are published and become part of public records soon after they have been booked in a criminal case.

Find mugshots on “Records Finder”

For finding the mugshots another effective online source is the “Records Finder” website. On this site; the user can easily search for someone’s mugshot by entering the police department’s code or address where the individual was arrested in a criminal case.

Browsing the “Prison Handbook Website” to Find Mugshot

Another method to search mugshots online is accessing the “Prison Handbook website”. By visiting this website, the user can search for mugshots by state.

First, you will be required to choose your state and after that, the website will take you to the list of the jails. By selecting a specific jail, you can view the mugshots and recent arrest records of the prisoners in that jail.

prison handbook website

The website also provides a link to that jail’s website if the user wants to search for mugshots on the jail’s website. Their online databases have these links that are generally shown at the bottom of Prison Handbook website’s page.

These online resources are useful tool which enable you to get easy access to the data hub which contains records of recent arrests. These sites contain booking records of the mugshots, yet it is possible to not find any record.

In that case, you can try an inmate locator in the police department especially in the area where the individual was arrested and sent after his sentence. Inmate locator would be useful to find mugshots.

The state also runs online databases which have the details of registered sex offenders so that people have information in advance. You can find anyone’s record on these websites.

Approach Department of Corrections Website to find mugshots

You can also visit the state’s website containing the data of the Department of corrections’ to find out the details of specific mugshots. You can access the relevant additional information on these correction’s websites.
Some states in the US also publish the details of mugshots. By typing the name of “your state” and the “department of corrections” of your state in the web browser, you can get access to the mugshot and arrest records. 
The department of the State website provides links for “Prisoner Search,” the “Prisoner Locator” and “Offender Search” etc. to help people look for correct data on these corrections websites.

Scrutinize the Registry of ‘Sex Offender’

registry of sex offenders usa

Another way of finding someone’s mugshot is by searching the registry of sex offenders in the state. In each state of the US, there is a separate registry of sex offenders which provides sensitive information.

The registry of sex offenders is considered a great resource because of the fact that it contains the mugshots of prisoners even in the states, which do not normally provide the mugshots.

The user can search for mugshots by providing basic information like the prisoner’s name, case number, and ID number etc. Moreover, you can also find mugshots by location if you want to see a specific area or you can view it on local news website.

However, the requirement is that the individual must have been convicted of the sex offence, only then you can get access to additional information on this registry.

However, that person whose criminal cases is pending and is currently trying in the court then the judicial system does not allow the state to add their records to the registry till convictions.

Checking the Police Department or Local Sheriff Websites to find mugshots

Another way of finding someone’s mugshot online is by checking the local police department or sheriff's websites. You can also visit sheriff’s office if you are seeking criminal records.

Some local law enforcement agencies have put mugshot records online; however the sheriff’s office is the most trusted place to get information. The purpose of publishing mugshots online is to give access to public. 
For that reason, certain local law enforcement agency uploads records of offenders so that people get easy access to public records.

Use online apps to find mugshots

There are apps, such as Jail Base app which have been designed for searching mugshots online. You can download it from Apple store or Google play store on your smart phone.

With the help of this app you can get access to mugshots and arrest records of millions of offenders in various US states. Keep in mind, that all the records of the entire United States may not be available on this app.

Find mugshots by using Facial recognition on “JailBase” app

In 2013, this app was launched to help users search for mugshots. With the help of this app, one can easily find arrest records by using facial recognition.

You can find mugshot by searching by facial image or by name to get access to arrest records and up-to-date information. The best thing about the app is that it can filter results by gender, race, location, and date.

Where to Search for the Arrest Records

Let’s shed light on the places where the record of arrests has been maintained. Of course, in the age of social media and subsequent disinformation, most states do not gave access free of cost.

Do not worry, you can still access mugshots and recent arrest records if you fulfill the criteria to hold such records. If you have internet connection then you can first go and search it on corrections website.

However, following are the noteworthy places to find out the given records: -

Start by searching In the Police Station

The local sheriff station or the local law enforcement agency holds a complete record of the arrests in the city. It is the best and efficient way to visit the local police station to get public records.

You can visit the sheriff’s office during regular business hours to request for the detail of the concerned individual. If you are eligible to meet the criteria, you will get access to those reports.

police station 1

You will be required to fill out a form along with paying the processing fee for obtaining the requisite data. The arrest records are considered public records, which are generally available to the public at large on payment of levied fees to keep the search system in practice.

Keep in mind that certain states have imposed restriction on the public to obtain the records. Since the mugshot records are public information which is why in most states only a lawyer can get access to these records.

Some of the tricks have additionally been discussed to find out the mugshots in the article How to Park Your Car to Avoid Repo.

Appear and Request from the Courthouse

You can also get the arrest records and someone’s mugshot by visiting the local courts. In the case of small states or the states in which the online database of mugshots has not been uploaded/updated, you are required to visit the courthouse to get such records manually.

appearance in court

The courts which have tried offenders and after regular court hearings, have been accused now possess the records. You can obtain these court records if you are pursuing someone’s data.

The court which tried the case of the accused has the arrest records of criminals being tried in the court and such information can be obtained, also from the ministerial staff of the court.

Browse US State’s Website for offender search

Some of the US states have online entries of the mugshots on the website of that specific state. As some of the states in the US have made it public record that can be procured and used without any particular fee.

People can visit the state’s website along with the local police station’s website to search for records online. The user is required to enter some information regarding the criminal such as their name, date of birth, identify number (if so allotted) to get the details of the mugshot.

Searching the Prisons Federal Bureau’s Website

Another way is to check the website of the Prisons Federal Bureau. It is pertinent to mention here that in the US, where people are convicted of federal crimes is held in federal prison.

website of federal beaurue ny

Therefore, if you want to find out the record of federal prison, you can do so by paying a visit to the prisons federal Bureau’s to get arrest records online.

Although, if the website does not have the arrest records then it can help to point out those who have been convicted after the court hearings or lying in the federal prison or released.

Paying for the Background Check

Another way of finding someone’s mugshot is by performing a background check or history analysis. There are various websites that collect the arrest records.

The user can search for criminals on those websites by entering their name along with the state to get information regarding criminal charges.

However, the majority of these online sites do charge a fee. They basically provide their services on a “subscription” basis to help out the private prosecution.

What to do when online access is restricted to mugshots

Needless to mention once the mugshot photos and arrest record is published online; same cannot be withdrawn from the sight of the public at large. Once something is on the internet, it remains there.

Therefore, the best and most efficient way to avoid such issue is to not publish mugshots or arrest records of people who come into the custody of the police.

However, it is requested to upload mugshots and records of those criminals who are registered sex offenders in the eyes of the law. Those criminals who are convicted by the criminal justice system against serious crimes may also be uploaded.

There are also multiple factors why access to mugshots may be restricted online. Sometimes an offender has served their time in jail and wants to have privacy according to privacy laws.

Situations when mugshot is restricted online

The situations where the mugshots might not be available online include the following: -

  • Some police jurisdictions in the United States do not release the mugshot records online on social media or mugshot websites. They need a valid and genuine request before releasing such records. However, in cases where the criminal charges are dropped the state then decide to publish mugshots online otherwise they are reluctant to do so.
  • Sometimes, arrests are made due to the situation of mistaken identity, thus the police do a proper investigation first to ensure that he is involved in a criminal activities. After confirmation, the law enforcement agency website then willingly publishes the mugshots and arrest records.
  • In cases where the criminal’s mugshot is too old, then in such cases the police departments are unwilling to release their mugshots online. If the offender is too old to commit another crime then you won’t be able to find mugshot online.
  • The law & enforcement agencies in the US are now highly resistant and restricted in releasing criminal charges and information online because people have serious problems about their privacy by giving reference to privacy laws.
  • Because in many cases people get blamed for a crime and they are arrested but they end up being totally innocent. However, if their mugshots are released online then it is part of public records and the person will live forever on internet.


Mugshots are generally available as part of public record so as to increase awareness in society. However, finding mugshots can be time consuming but certain ways are in place which can help you find booking records of recent arrest records.

You can find mugshots or arrest record by searching their name on these websites; “FindMugshots”, “RecordsFinder”, and the “PrisonHandbook” website. By entering name and identity number, one can find public access to records.

Furthermore, one can visit the Department of Corrections website, search the Sex Offender Registry of the state and check the Police Department or Local Sheriff's Websites to find someone’s mugshot. Additionally, there are various apps that provide such services for private clients.

You can also visit the Police Station or the County’s Court records physically to find the mugshots or arrest records of an individual.

The Prisons Federal Bureau’s website also provides such information. If this is time consuming then you can hire someone to perform background checking to get public access to records.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the quick process to know someone’s mugshots?

You can visit police department websites or sheriff’s office to quickly know the criminal record of the person concerned. If the record is available online, you can access that free of cost; however, certain states have imposed restriction on specific mugshots.

Where can I view local mugshots for free?

You can check the website of the local police department. The websites of a police station and the newspaper are likely to have data of recent arrest in the locality. You can view the mugshot photo and criminal charges against him on these sites.

What is the best website for mugshots?

Certain news articles write and provided useful websites to further search for data. As per data of monthly visits, following are the top websites for mugshots: -,,,

Are mugshots public in New York?

Currently, the New York state has unfollowed the practice of publicizing the mugshots. Previously, they have published mugshots on online databases to further help law enforcement agencies.

Are Georgia mugshots public?

The law of the state has not allowed to publicize the arrest records; however the photos may only be published by the agencies after getting consent from the concerned individual likely to face for involvement in criminal activities.

Alice Barrett

Dedicated legal blogger unraveling complexities, simplifying legal jargon, and offering insights on crucial issues, empowering readers with legal knowledge.

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