Mugshot Sites profit through extortion
The consequences of a legal issue can extend beyond the courtroom. There are businesses out there that want to profit off of your legal issues, and it’s important to be fully aware of your rights when dealing with them. Some businesses used to prey on people who had been arrested by uploading their mugshots online and forcing people to pay a fee in order to have their pictures taken down and removed.
Websites like BustedMugshots.com and MugshotsOnline.com attempt to make a profit through extortion, even against people who have had their cases dismissed or expunged. This creates problems for people’s online reputation, which can affect their employment, education, and more. Thankfully, there are regulations in place designed to protect people from these types of predatory businesses.
A federal lawsuit, which started in Ohio courts, established a precedent that if an individual has had their charge dismissed or expunged, businesses cannot force them to pay a fee for removing evidence of their arrest. Essentially, once the court says that there is no longer a case of an individual, these websites must be willing to take down and remove the information about the person without extorting a fee out of them.
Attorneys representing these businesses claim that they are providing a service and have first amendment rights to put these mugshots and profiles up online. These claims, however, do not come before your rights in the legal system. Once your case has been dismissed or expunged, you can deny any evidence of it ever happening.
Despite the lawsuit and new regulations, these websites still attempt to prey on individuals who have been through the legal system. Employers, friends, and the general public can all easily access this information. That’s why it’s critical to know all your options and rights, even after your case is over. Easy Expunctions puts the right tools at your fingertips to help clean your record in just a few clicks.