NULL Should You Smile For a Mugshot? – Legal News Organization
Should You Smile For a Mugshot?

Should You Smile For a Mugshot?

In June in June, the Texas taco restaurant offered a unique deal to people who were arrested and booked: bring in your booking photograph and get an order of tacos free however only if you’re smiling on the photo.

Owners of the store say they do not encourage crime and are instead promoting an appeal to tranquility and peace since “everyone is worthy of an opportunity to relive their lives.”


Second chances are definitely beneficial. However, a smiley mugshot will almost certainly not be a good option to give this.

Each criminal defense attorney that we could find that has spoken about facial expressions on mugshots say that the same thing: Do. Not. Smile.

Some of the most famous examples

In addition to free tacos, nothing bad can happen of a smiley mugshot.

  • Angenette Welk Missett’s dazzling mugshot definitely didn’t help the judge who gave her 11 years of prison time in 2019 over charges of DUI manslaughter over the death of a sixty-year-old woman who died in Marion County, Florida.
  • The Missouri woman, 32, Brittany Wilson, looks positively happy in a photograph of her booking that was taken in December last year after the officers arrested her following an incident in which she allegedly stabbed her partner to death with an axe. The photo probably isn’t likely to aid.
  • Nassau County, Florida, Commissioner Aaron Bell’s mugshot shows a cheerful person, but it’s no good for him in the present. Bell was arrested for the suspicion that he was driving DUI in June. And the political opposition has posted his smiling mugshot to the internet. The smiling face of his mug might not affect his case any better, but it will not improve his political chances.
  • The former Minneapolis policeman Kim Potter is serving a 2-year prison sentence for manslaughter, after she mistakenly took her Glock handgun as the Taser and fatally wounded a driver. As she entered the prison for her first day of sentence she was a jolly smile to be a part of a photo that swiftly was shared on social media. This may not have any effect on her sentence, however the outcome won’t help as she returns to normal.

Americans are obsessed with Smiling

The people who smile when they see cameras that are booked for a myriad of motives. There are those who are drunk or high and some have mental illnessand others look at cameras because they believe the arrest of a person is ridiculous.

However, many of them are unfathomable leading us to consider the fact that we Americans might be among the most grin-worthy of all people. We not only enjoy a greater smile than the people of most countries, but we also do it with greater force; the larger the smile is, the more attractive. When a camera is facing us it is our natural instinct to smile.

Do we think that we’re happy? Not necessarily.

In the past 10 years over the last 10 years the Gallup World Poll published annually a World Happiness Report in which the U.S. never ranked higher than 14th (in the year 2017). In 2017, we’re 16th.

Perhaps we’re content. What’s the reason for our love of beaming smiling teeth? Let’s take a look at Finland which has been the most happiest nation in the world for the past four years, according to the Gallup poll. In Finland, the population is notoriously sombre and shy. One Finn writer wrote last year, “If happiness were measured by smiling faces, Finnish citizens would rank one of the least miserable people on the planet.”

Perhaps Our American optimism is to blame

The relationship between happiness and smiley faces may not be as strong as we’d like to imagine. Based on one theory, Americans tend to smile more since they’ve always been a place with plenty of immigrants. Additionally, a smile is an expression of non-verbal communication to express, “I mean no harm.” Another possibility is the idea that Americans have a tendency to be cheerful, and having a smile can be interpreted as a sign of being in line with the rules.

However, back to mugshots.

Perhaps you believed you had displayed your authentic American spirit by smiling at the camera for booking. Perhaps you believed that it might be useful.

Let’s suppose you wind up being in the courtroom in the future, where a jury is going to decide on your fate. Imagine the reaction of the clever prosecutor presents them with Exhibit A Your giddy picture of yourself, and then asks “Ladies as well as gentlemen from the jury does appear like a regretful individual?”

Don’t smile when you take a photo for your mugshot. It is best to rest your case.

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We Americans like to smile. Even when we are detained and get our photo taken for mugshots. Is smiling on mugshots an appropriate idea? FindLaw brings the issue into the spotlight.

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