Are They Real?
The short answer - yes - each and every photo you see here came from the booking site of a U.S. county jail and is published without enhancement or modification.
The long answer - yes - though it is possible, but unlikely, that some photos did not result from arrest. To explain:
Jail booking photos (mug shots) are public records in most states. And in many jurisdictions, the local sheriff or jail publishes arrest records and booking photos online. These are the photos that end up on Mughots. Our systems capture published photos from the booking sites, not complete arrest records. We then have human editors who review the captured photos and publish select ones here and on our general mug shots site, Muggn.com.
So we could simply assume that a photo published in a jail booking site is, in fact, a booking photo. However, we know of at least one jurisdiction where the booking camera is used to take photos of sheriff department staff and other non-arrestees, and those images end up being published in the photo system. Not good public policy if you ask us, but it happens. Therefore, our human editors are cautious when reviewing photos. A photo that is inconsistent with what are clearly booking photos from that jurisdiction - those that have a different background, different lighting, etc. from obvious booking photos - are disregarded.
We do, then, have a high degree of confidence in the photos we publish. However, there does remain the possibility that a photo could appear here that is of someone who was not actually arrested. In such instances, the local jail would have published the photo as a public document in their jail booking system and we would merely be republishing a public document.
In all cases, it is important to remember that someone’s arrest or appearance on a jail booking system does not mean they are guilty of any crime. You should assume all photos that appear on Mughots and Muggn are those of law-abiding citizens who are not guilty of crime, but whose photos were merely made public by a government agency.
It’s also good to remember that Mugshots and Muggn is not out to cause undue embarassment or harm to individuals. So we honor requests by individuals featured here to remove their photos.