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Can I copyright my online mugshot to have it legally removed from, and any and all other sites?

Salt Lake City, UT |

my picture is on; it was just a misdemeanor, and I do not want my image published in such a manner. These sites charge an expensive fee to remove it. Is it possible to copyright my image to force them to remove it?

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Attorney answers 3


Probably not as your mug shot is a public document not owned by you. Very creative thinking though.

NOT LEGAL ADVICE. FOR EDUCATION AND INFORMATION ONLY. Mr. Rafter is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the US Federal Courts in Virginia. There is no implied or actual attorney-client relationship arising from this education exchange. You should speak with an attorney licensed in your state, to whom you have provided all the facts before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. Mr. Rafter is under no obligation to answer subsequent emails or phone calls related to this matter.


No, you were not the photographer.

J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship. Answers on Avvo can only be general ones, as specific answers would require knowledge of all the facts. As such, they may or may not apply to the question.


In Utah, there's a new law (House Bill 408), which prohibits county sheriffs from giving mugshots to people who will post it online and demand a fee for removing it. To get around that law, it seems that many websites offer to remove your picture "for free" if you ask them, (they just charge a ridiculous amount to do it quickly, calling it "expedited service.") You might want to look at the websites fine-print, to see if there's a free take-down option.

Also, many of these sites will take down your photo for free if the charges have been dismissed or expunged, so that's a good reason to talk to a local defense attorney about your case if you haven't already. Good luck!

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