Many people wonder how to remove arrest record from Google and wind up paying a mugshot removal company large amounts of money only to find out that the mugshot removal company put their criminal justice information back up, or never took it down in the first place. This blog briefly discusses three option available to you to remove your arrest record from Google.
There are several ways to attempt to have your mugshot removed from the internet. First, you should look up your state’s laws on mugshot website companies. There has been an ever-increasing trend across the country to put an end to the extortionist practices of the for-profit mugshot industry. This has resulted in many states outlawing mugshot companies. Despite being illegal, many sites continue to post mugshots online for profit. That being said, some mugshot website operators are responsive to demand letters that cite the applicable state law and request removal.
Check Your State Laws – Send A Demand Letter
Most all mugshot websites have a section on their page that explains they will remove a person’s mugshot if they send documentation that proves the conviction was expunged, sealed or if the arrest resulted in a dismissal of prosecution. While our office has sent many of these letters and provided the requested proof, not one single mugshot website has held true to this promise of removal. That being said, some mugshot companies will remove information in compliance with the law for sake of being in compliance with the law. I have sent many demand letters to mugshot companies on law firm letterhead requesting that they remove illegally posted criminal justice information and had great success with them reasonably removing a person’s mugshot from their site. For those mugshot companies who refuse, some have chosen to take these companies to court to hold them accountable.
Sue Them If They Are Violating The Law
If your state’s laws allow for civil action against a mugshot website operator for using your criminal justice information illegally, another option is to engage in a lawsuit against them to seek compliance with the law as well as any monetary damages that you may be entitled to. For example, Arizona’s mugshot law prohibits a mugshot website operator from publishing a person’s mugshot for solicitation of pecuniary gain. Arizona’s mugshot law also provides victims of mugshot website operators with heavy monetary damages. For more on Arizona’s mugshot law, see my blog post on this law.
Take Control Of Your Online Presence
Although removal of a person’s mugshot from the internet may be difficult and litigation against these companies can take a long time, you can try to take control of your online reputation in the meantime. This includes providing content on the internet that is a more accurate representation of yourself. Many people only have one platform that they include pictures and content on over the internet (i.e. Facebook or Twitter). While this can be helpful, if you want to take control of how you appear on search engines such as Google, you will need to take it a step further. This includes using Search Engine Optimization techniques and providing content beyond the worst day of your life to be seen on a Google search.
Our office has engaged in all three of these endeavors to combat the unethical, and in Arizona illegal, practices by mugshot website operators. Mugshot website operators are fairly new, and it has become clear that people all over the world do not want them around. They simply serve no public interest, and only cut the legs from the second chance of those attempting to reintegrate into society and destroy the good name of those wrongly accused.