Texas Mugshots

Crime, Arrest, and Incarceration Rates

Texas has the most law enforcement agencies of any state in the US, there are 1,913 law enforcement agencies operating in the state employing about 244 persons for every 100,000 residents. With the seventh highest incarceration rate in the nation (563 per 100,000 people), Texas has more than 1% of its male population in prison. As of 2018, 726,000 Texans are behind bars or under criminal justice supervision. These include 27,000 people in federal prisons, 163,000 in state prisons, 55,000 in local jails, 107,000 on parole, 368,000 on probation, 4,300 in juvenile centers, and 1,400 under involuntary commitment.

With violent crime and property crime rates that top 400 and 2,500 per 100,000 inhabitants respectively, three of Texas cities are among the nation's most dangerous 50. Bellmead City in Waco, a metro area in between Dallas and Austin, has one of the highest crime rates nationwide with 2,305 violent crimes for every 100,000 residents in 2017. This is six times the national violent crime rate. In Bellmead, the property crime rate is double the national average at 6,509 in every 100,000 people.

It is a similar trend in Robstown, a southern Texas city west of Corpus Christi, with a violent crime of 894 in every 100,000 residents. For Houston, American fourth most populous city hosting some 20 million tourists yearly, residents are three times more likely to be a victim of a violent than elsewhere in the country. 

Public Access to Mugshots and Arrest Records

The criminal justice process in the state begins with an arrest followed by booking at the county jail. During booking an arrest record is created, it includes capturing of the offender’s mugshot, fingerprint, and biographical data. In over 28 million citizens, Texas law enforcement agencies make some 750,000 arrests annually, creating the same number of mugshots each year. In line with the Texas Public Information Act, these mugshots and accompanying arrest records are public records accessible to all citizens and can be republished.

Before the advent of internet technology, local newspapers in Texas were publishing "police blotter" stories with details gotten from these arrest records. In recent years, local tabloids and private websites have dominated the mugshot publishing business. Some of these small newspapers (commonly called BUSTED!) and private websites have stayed in business by exploiting citizens who want their mugshots removed. These private entities charge hefty fees for this service, a controversial issue that has generated a nationwide debate.

Texas is one of the 18 states with laws targeted at cracking down on the activities of these commercial mugshot publishers. The Texas Business and Commerce Code § 109.005, and the expungement law, are two legislations available for eligible ex-offenders in the state to leverage on in getting their mugshots off these commercial websites. Expunction ensure the removal of an arrest record along with the mugshot from the law enforcement agencies' domain permanently. While, eligibility is determined by the kind of offense and the kind of community supervision (probation).

Individuals with an arrest history in Texas will find resources here on locating their mugshots, obtaining the relevant arrest history records, discovering the expungement process in the county of their arrest and contacting the right local authorities to help accomplish the expunction of their records and mugshots.

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