Online Mugshots Do Not Mean The Individual Is Guilty As Charged
Lakeland, FL (Law Firm Newswire) April 15, 2014 - Online mugshots may suggest to viewers that the person is guilty. This is not necessarily the case.
“Everyone who may be charged with a crime in the United States is innocent until proven guilty. There are a number of important statutes that uphold that right. Just because a person has been arrested and photographed and charged, does not automatically mean they are guilty. This is the reason for defense attorneys,” explains Thomas Grajek, a Lakeland criminal defense attorney.
Defense attorneys represent the other side of the coin, because it could well be that the person who “allegedly” committed a crime, did not actually commit it. Appearances may be deceiving and arresting someone and charging and prosecuting them for something they may not have done goes against all rational, fair reasoning. Without criminal defense lawyers, potentially innocent victims may be unjustly convicted and punished. Additionally, if an arrest results in a finding of adjudication of guilt withheld, this may also be removed from public records, with certain exceptions.
“Innocent until proven guilty is, admittedly, a complex concept and even if a person is eventually declared innocent, they still have a criminal record. Many in that situation want that record sealed or expunged. This may be done under the relevant law of the state they live in,” says Grajek. “You may contact me for information on this.”
Not all criminal charges may be expunged or sealed. Charges that may not be removed from a criminal record are some felonies and most misdemeanors. Additionally, sealing a record does not completely erase the existence of the file. It removes it from public view. Expungement removes an arrested’s criminal record from being a public record.
“Online mugshots, with information about an individual’s crime(s), are being exploited by others wanting money to remove the pictures and the description of their crime. There are numerous privacy loopholes involved with online mugshots and accessing public records, with the biggest one being an innocent person is hung out to dry because they were arrested,” Grajek outlines. “It needs to stop.”
Evidently Google realized this was an issue and when they adjusted their algorithms recently, mugshot sites were pushed to less prominent areas on search results.
Thomas C. Grajek
206 Easton Drive, Suite 102
Lakeland, FL 33803
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