How to Find Mugshots: 11 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow (2024)

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1Finding Mugshots Online

2Searching for Arrest Records

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Co-authored bywikiHow Staff

Last Updated: April 19, 2024Fact Checked

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Mugshots and arrest records are available to the public, so they're actually pretty easy to find. Whether you're looking for your own mugshot or researching a case, we've got everything you need to know right here. Read on to learn how to find mugshots online using the best websites and apps. Plus, we'll teach you how to search arrest records to get more information on a particular offender or case.

Method 1

Method 1 of 2:

Finding Mugshots Online

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  1. 1

    Search the FindMugshots website. Go to the website here: https://www.findmugshots.com/. Enter the first and last name, as well as the state. Click “Search.”

    • You can also browse if you don’t have a name. Go to https://www.findmugshots.com/states, click on the state you want to search, and then select the county or city.
    • After selecting the county or city, you can browse by first letter of the last name.
  2. 2

    Browse on the PrisonHandbook website. Visit here: http://prisonhandbook.com/mugshot-search/. At the website, choose your state. You will be taken to a list of jails.

    • Select a jail and read how to view mugshots. There might be a link to the jail’s website, where you can search for mugshots. The links will be at the bottom of the page under “Links and Resources,” so scroll all the way down the page.
    • Not all jails let you view mugshots online.

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  3. 3

    Visit your state’s department of corrections website. Every state in the U.S. should have a website, and you can use the inmate locator to find information about the prisoner. Some states will also publish mugshots.

    • Type “your state” and “department of corrections” into your favorite web browser.
    • You can find links to state department of corrections websites here: https://www.usa.gov/corrections.
    • At the website, look for a link that says “Prisoner Search,” “Offender Search,” “Prisoner Locator” or something similar. You can usually search by prisoner number or name.
  4. 4

    Search your state’s sex offender registry. In the U.S., every state has a sex offender registry, which you can find by searching on Google. A sex offender registry is a good resource because it will contain mugshots even in states that don’t normally provide mugshots.

    • You can search using basic information, such as the offender’s name. If you want to see all of the offenders in your area, there should be an option to search by location as well.
    • The person must have been convicted of a sex offense for their information to appear in the registry. Accordingly, the number of mugshots might be limited.
  5. 5

    Check your local sheriff and police department websites. Some law enforcement agencies host mugshots online, which you can view for free. Not many do, however, so this shouldn’t be your first place to check. You’ll need to know the county where the person was booked.

  6. 6

    Use an app. You can download some apps to your smartphone and search for mugshots. One popular app is JailBase. You can search millions of arrest records for free. The app does not have records for all counties in the U.S., but it is adding to its list daily.

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Method 2

Method 2 of 2:

Searching for Arrest Records

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  1. 1

    Stop into the police station. Your local police station should have arrest records for the city. Stop in during normal business hours to request a report. You may need to fill out a form and pay a processing fee.

    • Arrest records are public records, so they should be generally available. However, the true availability depends on your location. In some places, only a lawyer can get the records, whereas other records might have identifying information removed.[1]
  2. 2

    Visit the county courthouse. Smaller counties usually don’t have an online database you can search. Instead, you need to visit the courthouse. Go to the courthouse for the county where the person was arrested.[2]

    • If the courthouse is far away, call and ask how you can find arrest records. The clerk should explain the process.
  3. 3

    Search a state or county website. Some states have arrest records online for free. Check the websites for both the county courthouse and the local police department. Enter as much information as you have about the person, including their name and date of birth.[3]

  4. 4

    Check the Federal Bureau of Prisons website. In the U.S., people convicted of federal crimes will be held in federal prison. You can search for inmates through the Federal Bureau of Prisons website.[4]

    • This website doesn’t have arrest records available. However, it will tell you whether a person was ever in federal prison and when they were released. The website has information as far back as 1982.
  5. 5

    Pay for a background check. Many online websites collect arrest records. You can search by the person’s name and the state where you think they were arrested.

    • Be warned that most online sites will charge you. Often, they don’t advertise this fact on their home page. Instead, they run their report and then tell you how much you have to pay to access it.
    • Some websites might offer the information for free, but you’ll have to dig to find them. By far, most websites requirement payment.
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  • Question

    Are all mugshots public record?

    How to Find Mugshots: 11 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow (16)

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    This answer was written by one of our trained team of researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

    How to Find Mugshots: 11 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow (17)

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    Staff Answer

    This varies from one area to another. For example, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, many states do not have laws specifying whether mugshots should or should not be public record. In these cases, it’s up to individual agencies to decide whether or not to release their records.

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  • Question

    How long do mugshots stay online?

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    This answer was written by one of our trained team of researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

    How to Find Mugshots: 11 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow (19)

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    This partially depends on where the mugshots are being hosted. Many commercial mugshot websites now state that they will only keep mugshots available for 90 days. In some states in the U.S., mugshot websites are obligated to remove the images within 30 days upon request.

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  • Question

    How do I find out where somebody is locked up?

    How to Find Mugshots: 11 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow (20)

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    Have their name and other information on hand if you want to find out where someone is locked up. If you find the city or area where the person was arrested, call the police department and ask to speak to the arresting officer as they may know where the inmate ended up.

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      About This Article

      How to Find Mugshots: 11 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow (35)

      Co-authored by:

      wikiHow Staff

      wikiHow Staff Writer

      This article was co-authored by wikiHow Staff. Our trained team of editors and researchers validate articles for accuracy and comprehensiveness. wikiHow's Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards. This article has been viewed 1,667,269 times.

      337 votes - 30%

      Co-authors: 17

      Updated: April 19, 2024

      Views:1,667,269

      Categories: Law Enforcement

      Article SummaryX

      If you want to find a mugshot, visit findmugshots.com, then search by entering the person's first and last name, and the state. If you don't know their name, you can also browse through the listings. Alternatively, go to your state's Department of Corrections website, where you'll find an inmate locator tool to help you find a particular prisoner. Finally, if you'd rather search for mugshots on your phone, download an app such as JailBase, which includes millions of arrest records. For tips on how to search for arrest records you can't find online, read on!

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      Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 1,667,269 times.

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      How to Find Mugshots: 11 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow (2024)

      FAQs

      Where can I view local mugshots for free? ›

      Visit your state's department of corrections website.

      Every state in the U.S. should have a website, and you can use the inmate locator to find information about the prisoner. Some states will also publish mugshots. Type “your state” and “department of corrections” into your favorite web browser.

      How to find past mugshots for free in the USA? ›

      Check the websites of the police departments and sheriff's offices where you were arrested. Some law enforcement agencies post mugshots online, but not all. If you know the county where you were arrested, you can Google "(county) mugshot (name)" to see if there are any results. Search the FindMugshots website.

      Did Google remove mugshots? ›

      Google's removal policies can be very strict and they will likely not remove your mugshot unless you violate specific guidelines. Keep in mind that this request for removal is only applicable to Google search results. If the mugshot is still available on the original website, it will remain online.

      How do you take good mugshots? ›

      It is important for the purpose of facial recognition that the person being photographed is looking directly at the camera with their full face and ears exposed and without any facial expression. Tilting or rotating of the head can cause inaccurate facial measurements that may result in recognition problems.

      What app shows local mugshots? ›

      JailBase has spent a long time compiling arrest records throughout American counties, and says that this app represents the first time that the public can search mugshots using facial recognition.

      What is the best free inmate search? ›

      The best way to locate information on a federal prisoner for free is to go to the Bureau of Federal Prisons. Then, go to the inmate locator tab. You can search by inmate number or name. A list of results will appear with the inmates' names, ID number, age, sex, race, and release date, or prison location.

      Is mugshots.com legit? ›

      In fact, their entire operation was permeated with fraud. Mugshots.com violated many California laws, as well as those in many other states. Money laundering and identity theft are serious crimes; the California Attorney General is serious about bringing perpetrators to justice.

      What is the new MobilePatrol app? ›

      MobilePatrol connects you to important safety information, news, and critical alerts for places you care about. We partner with public safety and law enforcement agencies nationwide so you can receive timely access to information that keeps you and your loved ones safe.

      Is search public records.com legit? ›

      Search Public Records strives to provide you with accurate and up-to-date information that you can rely on. Our data is curated from multiple credible sources and refreshed on a regular basis.

      Are mugshots ever deleted? ›

      Unfortunately, mugshots can stay online indefinitely if steps are not taken to remove them. Even getting your records sealed or expunged, which is supposed to mean your case is confidential and a company should remove any trace of your arrest, does not necessarily delete a mugshot online.

      Does DeleteMe remove mugshots? ›

      Unfortunately, DeleteMe is not able to remove arrest or court records from the web. DeleteMe removes basic personal contact information from people search sites only. We do provide a guide for removing unwanted item(s) or pushing them down in search results.

      How do I get a photo removed from Google? ›

      If you want to remove an image from Google search results, you need to contact the owner of the site that contains the image. Important: Most images that show up in Google search results are from websites that aren't owned by Google, so we are unable to remove these images from the web.

      What are the signs people hold in mugshots? ›

      The arrested person is sometimes required to hold a placard with name, date of birth, booking ID, weight, and other relevant information on it. With digital photography, the digital photograph is linked to a database record concerning the arrest.

      Why do mugshots have towels? ›

      “We do this to cover clothing and/or tattoos or marks on the neck/shoulder/chest area as to protect the integrity of a facial identification during photo lineups. This is standard for our mug shots.”

      What camera is used for mugshots? ›

      Munission SmartShot is an out-of-the-box solution that lets law enforcement officers capture NIST-compliant mug shots with minimal training. SmartShot's advanced facial recognition technology masterfully standardizes photos so victims and witnesses can better identify suspects, and you can expedite the booking process.

      Can you look up mugshots in Wisconsin? ›

      Arrest records in Wisconsin are generally available to the public, except where the law restricts public access. An arrest record contains the name of the arrested person, time and date of arrest, location of arrest, charges, a mugshot, and bail information.

      Are Illinois mugshots public? ›

      Mugshots are the property of the government. They are a part of the public record. Most mugshots are released by state law enforcement agencies. They must be made available to the media.

      Are Maryland mugshots public? ›

      Some agencies maintain online databases that enable you to search for mugshots easily. For example, the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) maintains the Sex Offender Registry, allowing you to view mugshots of individuals convicted of sex offenses.

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