1. The recent proliferation of mugshot websites has turned the task of removing all traces of your arrest almost impossible.
The financial success of the “first wave” of mugshot websites has lead to copycat sites and increased pricing. Originally it was a few hundred dollars to remove a person from a small handful of sites. Now there are an ever-increasing number of sites and the costs may total $2,500.
2. When you pay a mugshot website to remove your mugshot, they do take it down.
Most of these sites have a button for removal under your picture. If clicked, you are taken to a page that allows you to pay (usually between $50-$400) to remove your picture. Some sites require you to pay third-party middlemen. Paying the money does work.
3. You cannot figure out who owns or operates these sites.
Mugshot sites are very secretive about who they are. You will not find any ownership information on their sites, they register with anonymous proxy services and are otherwise untraceable. There is a lawsuit in Ohio that we are monitoring to see if the owners are exposed.
4. There is nothing preventing these sites from later reposting your picture or starting another site.
While payment does yield an immediate result, how do you enforce your agreement when you don't know who you paid? We can, and will, clean up what is currently on the internet, but we do not know what tomorrow will bring.
5. New sites continue to appear.
You can go through and remove all current pictures, but new sites continue to come online.
6. No mugshot removal service can guarantee you anything.
Beyond promising you that your picture will be taken down in a few days and off of Google in a few weeks, mugshot removal services cannot promise you anything. Because the mugshot sites refuse to disclose their identity, removal services cannot enforce any agreement. Without enforceability, there can be no guarantees. If offered a guarantee, GET IT IN WRITING!
7. Legitimate news sites rarely unpublish articles.
However, legitimate news sites will consider a request to unpublish an article or add an Addendum when a case is dismissed and/or your case is sealed or expunged. We have experience working with news sites to limit the damage of a wrongful arrest.
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