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There are local laws on what criminal record data sites can post on the internet. This article examines some of them. What is the Illinois Mugshot Law?
This law pertains only to the publication of mugshots and criminal data by law enforcement on their personal social profiles. In addition, this only includes relatively minor offenses:
“Notwithstanding the requirements of the subsection, a law enforcement agency may not publish booking photographs, commonly known as “mugshots”, on its social media website in connection with civil offenses, petty offenses, business offenses, Class C misdemeanors, and Class B misdemeanors unless the booking photograph is posted to social media to assist in the search for a missing person or to assist in the search for a fugitive, person of interest or individual wanted in relation to a crime other than a petty offense, business offense, Class C misdemeanor, or Class B misdemeanor.”
Importantly, you will see there is no ban on posting mugshots on a local county or law enforcement website. Nor does this law ban the use of mugshots by members of the news media.
In fact, this law actually requires the production of those photos.
Other adjustments to Illinois mugshot law follow the Consumer Fraud & Deceptive Business Practices Act, and enforce it only for websites that post mugshots.
Unfortunately, this means sites may demand a fee to remove your mugshot photo. Ex-offenders must also contact the webmasters directly to remove those images.
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Can the Police Post Mugshots on Social Media?
The police may only publish mugshots on social media if the charges relate to a class A misdemeanor or felony.
In those instances, officials typically only use social media to locate suspects for very serious crimes.
Departments may not upload recent arrests to shame people. Most mugshots featured on agency websites are intended to help police searching for a suspect.
Can Other Websites Post Mugshots & Criminal Information?
Yes. As unfortunate as it seems, Illinois mugshot sites can post criminal history information. That’s the Illinois Mugshot Law.
Because at the end of the day, these records are public records. This allows anyone to post mugshots online freely.
Yet, arrest data must be correct and updated. And officials need to fix any inaccuracies within five days of receiving notice.
What Should I Do If a Website Has Inaccurate Information about My Criminal History?
Send an email asking them to fix the mistake. You may also send a letter through certified mail to their business address.
What If They Don’t Fix the Mistake?
If they do not update your records within five business, you can sue them in court. And, you can potentially gain $100/day for each day the wrong data remains online.
Be sure to discuss this with a lawyer first. By doing so, you may get the lawyer’s expenses compensated by the website owners.
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Solutions for Getting Embarrassing Mugshots Online
The important thing to remember is that people, not the government, manage these Illinois mugshot sites. And, these sites do not have to remove this content by any means.
Additionally, do not send rude emails. This will likely land you in a SPAM folder and you’ll never have a chance to remove your mugshot.
Your best chance is to send your request and attach all needed documents to the Illinois mugshot websites in question.
The tricky part is finding out how many mugshot sites you are on. In Illinois, we can confidently say it would be about a handful of websites and/or newspapers that addressed your incident.
Next, repeat that process with every site you come across to try and diffuse the “bomb” that is your online reputation from exploding.
How an Illinois Mugshot Removal Works
Next, Illinois mugshot removal involves eliminating the original source page from the Illinois mugshot websites.
After the webmaster removes your mugshot listing, your results may linger in Google, Bing, and Yahoo for several days.
What is important is, if a user clicks on a result on Google, they would find an ERROR 404 page or redirection elsewhere on the website.
Eventually, if anyone were to search for you, no more results for that URL to that offending Illinois mugshot will appear.
Here at NetReputation, our team works to scour the internet in search of any trace of your mugshot or criminal data. Our operations have the capability to remove from over 500 different websites across the internet.
Most removals are completed with 1-2 weeks.
There is a slimmer chance of anyone seeing your police photos. So, even then the only information they have is the official police information.
Recent Illinois Mugshot Law Statutes
Beginning in 2019 Illinois mugshots publication websites would suffer a hefty fine. So for each day, the webpage goes unadjusted the website incurred a $100 fine.
Distributing booking photos online has been prohibited in Illinois. Dating back to 2014. However, there has never been a punishment for resisting to comply with the order.
Also going into effect is a limitation on regional businesses from advertising photos online for low-level offenses. So, those excluded from this law would be police, law enforcement agencies, and local media outlets.
Therefore, the new legislation led by State Senator Stadelman, D-Rockford. He presents a method for citizens to order routine updates. This would require webmasters to edit posts regularly.
Lastly, his law reflects a preponderance of the laws. Going into full force across the country as the sunsets on cyber takedowns. Don’t ruin your brand, build a positive reputation with NetReputation today.