Guilty As Photographed
Many people wonder how people got along before popular search engines like Google came along. How did you find out about people and events before the internet? It's now commonplace to conduct searches on everything from potential boyfriends to potential employees using the internet, but what if the information available paints an inaccurate picture? Irreparable harm could be done to innocent people, who sometimes may not even know that damaging photos and information is lurking for all to see. One major issue is the use of mugshot sites that show photos of people arrested. Read on to learn more:
Innocent until proven guilty? That tenet of U.S justice may not be considered when a mug shot photo is posted up as soon as someone is arrested. You don't need to understand much about criminal law to know that a person who is arrested is not necessarily guilty of a crime, but do people who view these damaging photographs really take that into consideration when forming opinions?
Why do mugshot sites exist? Just as with most any so-called "informational" site, these sites make money by the advertising placed for viewers of the site to see. Unfortunately, these sites are extremely popular and thus create a lot of advertising revenue for site owners. The information posted (known as content) is easily available, at little to no cost to the sites. Many law enforcement entities consider mugs shots and arrest records public information, so the mug shot sites simply copy the content onto their own sites. As you might imagine, you won't find any of these sites following up on those arrested to ascertain the final determination of guilt or innocence. Imagine, you are wrongfully arrested for domestic violence and later the charges are dropped. Your mugshot photo could continue to be the first entry on the search page for years to come, even when you were never convicted of anything at all.
What you can do. Unfortunately, there are no laws to address the punishment of these mug shot sites at this time. Even worse, some sites have begun to offer to remove photographs and arrest information about certain people for a fee. You should, however, keep in mind that your mug shot likely populates more than just a few sites and paying to have every site remove it could run into serious amounts of money. Some payment processors, like Paypal, have gotten on board to prevent this practice by refusing to allow payment processing to those sites. Additionally, a class action lawsuit against these sites has been filed. You may have a personal injury case against these sites, so speak to an attorney right away.
Contact a law office like the Law Office Of Andrew J Leger Jr for more information and assistance.