Mug Shots Explained

MUG SHOTS

This post will answer the following legal questions on mug shots:

  • What happens if a witness testifies that the police showed the witness a photo of the defendant?
  • What other circumstances can the police obtain pictures of people for court?

Firstly, what happens if a witness testifies that the police showed the witness a photo of the defendant?

If one of the witnesses in any given case testifies that the police showed the witness a photo of the defendant and jurors choose to accept that testimony, they are not allowed to draw any inferences against the defendant, because the police had his or her photograph.

Moreover, as police departments collect pictures of many people from many different sources and for many different reasons, it is not the responsibility of the jury to speculate what the reason was for the case in question.

Note that the fact that the police may have had the defendant’s picture does NOT mean that the defendant committed this or any other crime.

Secondly, what other circumstances can the police obtain pictures of people for court?

The police may obtain pictures of people who:

  • Arrested, even if later they found not guilty
  • Have applied for identification cards
  • Applied for hackney licenses (i.e. taxi license)
  • Have applied for a gun permit

Courts must emphasize that such photographs appeared AFTER the defendant’s arrest.

IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH A CRIME, AND YOU NEED AN EXPERIENCED CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER WORKING ON YOUR SIDE TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS, PLEASE CONTACT CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY WILLIAM J. BARABINO.

CALL 781-393-5900 TO LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR AVAILABLE DEFENSES.

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