Illinois Mugshot Law

Illinois Mugshot Law

There are statutes and laws regarding what criminal record data can be published on the internet. This article examines some of them.


Read Complete Public Act 098-0555 – Illinois General Assembly


The amendment underneath represents Section 2.15 and compares only to the publication of mugshots and criminal data by law enforcement on their personal social media websites. 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 that there is no temperance on publishing mugshots on the official website of the law enforcement agency. Nor is there a ban in censoring mugshots from the members of the news media.


Conversely, the verbiage previously presented in Section (a) requires the production of those photos.


Other adjustments made by Public Act 100-0927 deal alongside the Consumer Fraud & Deceptive Business Practices Act, and implement it only for-profit publications as well as websites who post mugshots. 


This means they can, unfortunately, demand a fee in order to remove your mugshot photo. Ex-offenders are then forced to contact the webmasters directly in hopes of removal.


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Can the Police Post Mugshots on Social Media?

The police can only publish mugshots on social media if the charges were related to a class A misdemeanor and/or felony. 


For these circumstances, social media is typically only used to locate suspects for very serious crimes. 


The department cannot upload recent arrests to shame them, most mugshots that are posted are from previous crimes as police are still attempting to locate the suspect.


Can Other Websites Post Mugshots & Criminal Information?

Yes actually, as unfortunate and unethical as it sounds Illinois mugshots publication websites can post criminal history information. 


At the end of the day, these records are public records (with the exclusive of sealed/expungement charges). Therefore anyone can theoretically post mugshots online freely.


Nevertheless, the data must be correct and updated. They need to rectify any inaccuracies within 5 days after you notify them (and they confirm).


What Should I Do If a Website Has Inaccurate Information about My Criminal History?

Draft them an email requesting them to fix the mistake under 815 ILCS 505/2QQQ(d). Send a letter through certified mail as well to their business address.


men with handcuffs behind back



What If They Don’t Fix the Mistake?

If they do not update these adjustments within 5 business days after they receive the letter, you can sue them in court. You can potentially gain $100/day for every day the data is posted within being fixed. 


Therefore, discuss this with a lawyer first. By doing so you can get the lawyer’s expenses compensated by the website owners.


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Solutions for Getting Embarrassing Mugshots Online

So for example, if you want to remove mugshots from, you can send an appeal to the webmaster in order for the information to be removed. It is possible to recover from a bad reputation.


The important thing here to remember is that these Illinois mugshots publication websites are owned by individuals, not businesses, or the government. More so, these sites are not obligated to remove this content by any means.


Furthermore and most importantly, do not send rude emails. This will land you into their SPAM folder and you’ll never have a chance to remove your mugshot


person in handcuff in meeting with lawyer


The best chance you have is to send your notice/request and attach your disposition/dismissal/expungement or anything you can to discredit that information posted about you on their Illinois mugshots publication websites.


So 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 mugshots publication websites. 


After the webmaster removes your mugshot listing, your results may linger in Google, Bing, and Yahoo for several days as Google works to recrawl their results. 


So what is important is, if a user were to click on a result within the SERP on Google in reference to an arrest they would be prompted by 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.


hands holding onto jail cell bars


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 Statutes/Laws

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.


mugshot photos of random model


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.


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