Posted on Jun 28, 1994 in Formal Opinions

Opinion Letter No. 94-12
June 28, 1994
Mug Shots Are Public Records

Booking photographs or “mug shots” maintained by the county police departments are public government records under the UIPA. In a previous opinion letter, the OIP recognized that an arrest is a public, not a private event. Furthermore, based upon a U.S. Supreme Court decision, and court decisions in other states, the OIP found that disclosure of an arrested person’s mug shot would not constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, since an individual does not have a privacy interest in an official record of an arrest.

full text