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)

    wikiHow Staff Editor

    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)

    wikiHow Staff Editor

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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 1,630,567 times.

      328 votes - 29%

      Co-authors: 17

      Updated: April 19, 2024

      Views:1,630,567

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

      FAQs

      What is the best website to find mugshots? ›

      Visit your state's department of corrections website.
      • Type “your state” and “department of corrections” into your favorite web browser.
      • 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.

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

      There are a few ways to find your old mugshots for free:
      1. 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. ...
      2. Search the FindMugshots website. ...
      3. Contact the jail where you were booked.
      Mar 30, 2023

      What app shows local mugshots? ›

      JailBase provides arrest information to the public. Browse recent arrests, use our jail inmate search or view county mugshots all in one place. You can search for arrested persons you might know, and even get notified if someone you know gets arrested. All for free.

      Can you see Texas mugshots? ›

      Please note that mugshots and criminal records are considered public information in Texas, and you can access them without formal authorization [2].

      Is mugshots.com legit? ›

      In a 29-page affidavit, prosecutors with the California Attorney General's office described Mugshots.com as a business “permeated with fraud.” The affidavit includes testimonials from individuals whose stories echo that of Tuberquia.

      Did Google remove mugshots? ›

      Google Policies for Removing Mugshots

      If you are looking to remove mugshots from Google search results, you'll first need to delete them from the site where it was initially posted. It's important to understand that Google won't take down personal information simply because you ask.

      Are mugshots public record in USA? ›

      Law Enforcement Agencies and Mugshot Websites

      Mugshots and arrest details are available to the public through your local county office(s). Most of the time, you can locate these records on Google within minutes.

      What is the new MobilePatrol app? ›

      About this app. MobilePatrol connects you to important safety information, news, and critical alerts for places you care about.

      What are US mugshots? ›

      The term mugshot is an informal name for what's officially called a "police photograph" or a "booking photograph." Taking a picture of every arrested suspect became standard procedure in the late 1800s, not long after the invention of photography. Mugshots include both a front view and side view of the arrested person.

      Why does MobilePatrol not work anymore? ›

      The app was shut down because it was not run by the sheriff's office and did not always provide citizens with the most accurate or up-to-date information, said Marquette County Sheriff Greg Zyburt.

      Is the MobilePatrol app free? ›

      Mobile patrol is available as a free download for Android and iOS mobile devices.

      What app tells you who went to jail? ›

      VINE is the nation's most reliable and confidential source for updated custody status and criminal case information. Register and stay informed.

      How to find mugshots in Texas for free? ›

      To obtain Texas inmate mugshots, you can visit the Texas Department of Criminal Justice website and use their online offender search tool. This tool allows you to search for inmates by name, TDCJ number, or SID number. Once you have located the inmate's profile, you can click on their mugshot to view it.

      Does Texas publish mugshots? ›

      In the state of Texas, mugshots and other arrest information are public information.

      Can you look up arrests in Texas? ›

      Yes. Arrest records available through law enforcement websites are free to access for all internet users. Record search fees may only apply where the request is via written mail or where the requester requires certified copies of public records.

      How to look up arrests in Georgia? ›

      You can obtain a copy of your Georgia criminal history record from most Sheriff's Offices or Police Departments. Contact your local law enforcement agency for specific requirements to obtain a copy of your Georgia criminal history record.

      How to find Pennsylvania mugshots? ›

      If your loved one is in jail at a local correctional facility, you might be able to view their mugshot online or in person at the jail. To see a mugshot online, you need the inmate's name and the date of their arrest. Mugshots are public records, which means you should receive access to them.

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