Is it legal to publish mugshots before a conviction?

A picture is worth a thousand words. A mugshot screams guilt. A published mugshot can really mess with a person’s reputation. And what if that person has not, or will not be convicted? The damage is done. Is there any way to fight this?

Asked on November 5, 2011 under Criminal Law, Texas


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Most photographs taken when a person is arrested are not released to the public until after there has been a conviction of the crime for which the person has been arrested for. There is nothing illegal about publishing one's mug shot prior to a conviction for the crime he or she has been arrested for.

In essence, one who has been arrested has a criminal complaint filed against him or her which is a public record and there is nothing improper about that. The same holds true for the mug shot.

Good question.


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