Posted on: 30 October 2017Share
Almost everyone nowadays has taken to the internet to do a little background check on someone. It may be a new friend, potential babysitter or even a job applicant. What if one of the first listings under a name brings up a mugshot? If you are like most, you make a judgment right then and there about the person shown in the unflattering photo. The placement of these types of photos on the web has become increasingly controversial, and with good reason; it goes against our justice system's credo of "innocent until proven guilty". Read on to learn more about mugshot websites and the harm they can do.
That guilty look
Since the personal information of everyone arrested is considered public information, there is not a lot you can do to hide that tidbit from anyone who really wants to find it. The problem is that when a user types a name into the search bar, they seldom need to dig very far to find that mugshot photo. In most cases, you must access certain sites that requires a bit more searching to locate court and arrest records. With a mugshot website, the info pops up with little effort by the searcher. The damage done by your photo appearing on these sites cannot be undone, and the question of your innocence is never even considered.
In the case of an actual court record, the guilt or innocence (or dropped charges) can be discerned by accessing the information; mugshot websites never revisit the cases. Clearly, the motivation of these websites is not to provide the public with information, but to attract visitors to the site to view mugshots and arrest information. They make money by advertisements placed on these sites, and they provide a service to only themselves.
Where the information comes from
Just as you can access most arrest records on various law enforcement sites, so does the "bots" that continuously search for arrest notices and photos so that, nearly instantaneously, the information appears on sites like mugshots.com. This practice is not illegal, but that doesn't mean it should not be regulated, particularly when you consider another way the sites make money.
Paying the price
You may have guessed that these sites will remove your information, for a price, which is another revenue producer for the sites. Since you can easily be dealing with dozens of sites, you can just imagine how much money it could end up costing you to have the photos and information removed.
Many payment systems no longer allow people to use certain cards to pay off these sites (such as Paypal) and there is now a class action lawsuit in the works against these sites. Speak to a personal injury attorney right away and take action against this horrible practice.
Contact a company like Banker Law Group for more information and assistance.