Article written by Fix Bad Reputation.
Legal action is a pretty serious thing. It’s certainly not a threat that most people take lightly, and so it may be tempting to hurl legal threats at a webmaster that is hosting content like your mugshot online. This may not necessarily be the best course of action. Legal action is expensive, it’s not guaranteed, and the webmaster has rights too. Here are the things you need to know before you consult an attorney to have your mugshot removed from Google.
An Attorney’s Options
Your attorney has a few options depending on whether it’s even possible to locate the webmaster. Your attorney can try to prove that you own the content and would like it removed. Mugshots are public domain though. He or she could also argue slander, but that’s a difficult point to prove in court. Especially if the poster was anonymous.
Mugshot websites will include copy stating “cases must be closed” before removal is possible, but there are no guarantees that the content will come down. Expungement is another route commonly discussed. These websites carry no legal requirements to remove your mugshot even after such an outcome.
The webmasters who do this kind of work utilize the Freedom of Information Act, and rely on anonymous postings to shield themselves from liability.
You can try to issue a DMCA takedown notice, but it’s not likely that you’ll get a response. Webmasters that run these kinds of websites intentionally obscure their information with private hosting services. If the picture leaks out into the Web beyond that website, you can find yourself in even deeper problems as you try to put out multiple fires.
The biggest problem you face, aside from getting the picture off the Web, is assurance it won’t return. Services that specialize in mugshot removal also help rebuild reputations and design content plans that help you get your life back on track. Search on Google for reputation management service or mugshot removal services and you should be able to find a few companies that can help you.