How to Find Old Mugshots

Uncover the past backgrounds behind old mugshots.

Social media is home to many trends. Many of them are creative, while others are a tad too wacky. One of the numerous trends that have gone viral was the Mugshot challenge. In the trend, people used to look like criminals and took their mugshots. If you saw this trend or any mugshots on the news and thought about what they are and want to know more about them, then this article is for you. With this article, you will learn how to find old mugshots for free by name. So, keep reading!

How to Find Old Mugshots

How to Find Old Mugshots

Finding mugshots can be a bit tricky. There are hundreds of websites and many other ways to find mugshots for free, but you might have to deal with the police department as well. Find out if are mugshots public records and the best way to search mugshots free by name further in this article.

Quick Answer

You can find old mugshots from various online sites, such as, JailBase, BustedNewspaper, and a few more.

Note: We do not endorse or sponsor any of the apps listed in this article. Users should ensure the protection of their data for privacy or any data loss.

What are Mugshots?

If you have seen a picture of a person holding a placard with their name, date, and serial code written on it, you might know what mugshots are. Mugshot is an unofficial term for the police photographs of the person arrested to help identification by victims, the public, and investigators.

When a person gets charged with a crime or commits one, then the legal process begins. One of the most essential parts of the process is taking mugshots. A mugshot consists of 2 images, the front profile, and the side. They are taken against a simple background, and the person is often asked to hold a placard that contains information like:

  • Name
  • Booking Number
  • Name of the Police Department
  • Other information that can be relevant to identify the criminal

The background wall has markings indicating the person’s height to help record the information about their height.

How Can You Find Mugshots Free Online?

You can find many websites with old and new public records on the internet. Out of hundreds of websites, these are some websites where you can search mugshots free by name.

If you have tried the sites above and found no information, then the only solution is to visit the local police department and ask if mugshots can be found there. website

Also Read: How to Find my Texas Benefits Individual Number

What about Mugshots That aren’t Online?

If you are looking for someone’s mugshots and they aren’t online, then there could be a variety of reasons:

  • The concerned police department does not release mugshots without a valid request.
  • The person had the mugshot removed by requesting the court.
  • The person could have been mistakenly charged; thus, the mugshot was removed.
  • The mugshot could be too old, and thus not available on the internet.

Are Mugshots Public Record?

It depends entirely on where you are. If you live in the USA, then the answer is yes. Due to the Freedom of Information Act, anyone can and should be able to get access to mugshots. Because of this, they are in the public domain. The only exemptions to this are if the records are sealed.

Access to information regarding criminals is in the public domain in most countries across the globe. These mugshots might not be available online, but you can ask your local police departments about them. It is in the public interest to have knowledge about criminals to be aware of them and protect yourself. Documents regarding court proceedings and other legal documents can be concealed or require special permission. Read this article from the start to learn how to find old mugshots online.

Do Mugshots Proof That a Person is Criminal?

No, mugshots do not immediately prove that a person is a criminal. They are simply a record of the booking and do not prove if a person is guilty or not. The sites mentioned above are not completely accurate, so they can sometimes wrongfully mention someone as a criminal.

Is It Necessary to Do a Thorough Background Check?

Yes. We live in an entirely new era now. In the digital age, we all go out with strangers we meet on social media and dating apps, but strangers can be strange. With the development of technology, there has also been a development in crime. Criminals can appear to be saintly on the internet with ease, and scam artists are great at gaining the trust of others. So it is necessary to do a background search on somebody you will meet for the first time to stay safe. Remember, prevention is always better than cure.


We hope that you learned about how to find old mugshots. Feel free to reach out to us with your queries and suggestions via the comments section below. Also, let us know what you want to learn about next.

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