The stereotypical mughost features an arrestee with a sullen scowl or perhaps vacant eyes. But a few inmates choose to smile or smirk in their photos. Jail officials don’t find these mugshots funny (in fact, it can make it more difficult for victims to identify suspects since they usually aren’t smiling when they commit a crime), but others get a kick out of them, thanks to online mugshot galleries like those on the The Smoking Gun.
There’s the irony of someone who’s just been booked on DUI or battery charges and chooses to pose for the camera, and there’s the sense that it’s a way of having the last laugh at the justice system, since that photo will follow the inmate through the system. Of course, many of these inmates may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol and may not realize the seriousness of their situation.
While jail officials frown at these mugshots, they admit that there’s little they can do to prevent people from smiling in their photos.
Source: Mugging for the jail camera: What’s so funny about smiling mug shots?, Orlando Sentinel, 23, 2010
Do you have questions about your legal rights? Contact our South Florida criminal defense attorneys for a free initial consultation.