Will my mugshot and arrest record for a DUI show up online?


Updated:  4/8/22

Will my mugshot and arrest record for a DUI show up online? My name is Gordon Thompson and today is July 14, 2016. The topic of today’s podcast is, will my mugshot and arrest record for a DUI show up online so that anybody can see it?

This is a question that I’m very commonly asked, and my answer is yes but that’s highly unlikely. In Maricopa County a mugshot for a DUI arrest can end up on the Sheriff’s website and in the transcript of this podcast I’ll have the address for the website. https://www.mcso.org/custody-bureau-information/find-a-mugshot

It can end up on that website, however, it’s very unlikely. In order to end up on that website you have to be arrested for DUI and booked into custody into the Fourth Avenue Jail. If a mugshot is taken at a police station, for example in Gilbert or in Scottsdale, that doesn’t do it. You have to be arrested and transported to the Fourth Avenue Jail and booked into custody. Few people are booked into custody at the Fourth Avenue Jail for misdemeanor driving under the influence charges. It used to be for the DPS (Department of Public Safety) cases, it was quite common to book people into custody but that doesn’t happen very often anymore. So again, unless you are booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail it will not end up online. Those mugshots that are online, are there for three days. So that is the only way a mugshot would end up online and as I say that’s very unlikely.

However, in Pinal County, a person’s mugshot can end up elsewhere online because a local newspaper publishes mugshots taken from the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office.  https://www.pinalcountyaz.gov/Sheriff/AD/Pages/PublicMugshots.aspx  While it is unclear how the newspaper obtains the content, they then publish the mugshots on a page reporting on courts and police news, in a column entitled PCSO Booking Mugs.  It is unclear how long those photos then remain available.  https://www.pinalcentral.com/courts_police/

In 2019 the Arizona Legislature passed a bill https://www.azleg.gov/legtext/54Leg/1R/laws/0042.pdf  to limit commercial exploitation of mugshots by banning the publication online for commercial purposes.  What can happen is online companies can get the mugshots, post them online and then charge the subjects a fee to take them off the internet. The new law however specifically does not apply to news organizations and so it is still legal for news organizations to post mugshots. https://www.azleg.gov/viewdocument/?docName=https://www.azleg.gov/ars/44/07902.htm

Second thing about arrest records, the only police agency that puts arrest records online is the Scottsdale Police Department here in Maricopa County, and that police department’s website has a site where you can check arrests and bookings. Again the address for that site I’ll put on the transcript of this podcast. https://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/police

So going to that site you can scroll down, you can look at names and you can find people’s names that way but that’s the only way you can do it; you have to be able to know where that site is, and have a reason to be looking in Scottsdale for a person’s name.

So those are the two basic ways it could end up online, mugshot, as well as the arrest record, and so it is pretty unusual.

Could your name otherwise end up online if somebody was searching for it? The answer is yes, however they have to be searching for it.

Several courts put their calendars online, and by going to those websites you can search the court calendar and find somebody’s name. The courts that do this are Surprise, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert and Scottsdale. Again, they have their calendars online but someone would have to have a reason to be searching that court’s calendar. A number of courts have a website where you can search by name, but again you have to be searching for name. Those would include Scottsdale, Gilbert, Chandler, Tempe and Glendale; you can search by name and find it.

Also, the Arizona Supreme Court has a website, which again I’ll put on this transcript (https://apps.supremecourt.az.gov/publicaccess/) where you can search by name and find somebody’s  record in a number of courts throughout Arizona, not all, but a number of courts. That would include Phoenix and the Maricopa County Superior Court, but again you have to be searching by name to be able to find it, and again that’s pretty unusual.

So in short, to find out about a DUI arrest, a misdemeanor DUI arrest, number one if somebody’s booked into the county jail within three days somebody could see a mugshot.

A second way is if a person wanted to search the prior week’s arrest in Scottsdale they could see it that way.

Third, if for some reason somebody wanted to run a particular court’s calendar they could find it that way but would have to run that court’s calendar, there is not a site to just run all the courts’ calendars, you have to run the particular one.

Fourth, with some courts you can check the status of the Name and the case but you have to have the person’s name.  In addition to that the Arizona Supreme Court’s website is one where we can search most courts, but again, you have to have the name correct so unless somebody has a reason to search your name then it’s highly unlikely that anybody’s going to see anything online about a DUI arrest you might’ve been involved with.

If you have any questions please call me; and that is today’s podcast, namely, online mugshots and arrest records for DUI arrests.

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