National Freedom of Information Coalition
Protecting Your Right to Open Government

Virginia attorney general says public can get mug shots, but not from state database

The state attorney general has issued an opinion clarifying how the public can access mug shots of people who have been arrested – an issue raised by the Daily Press last fall when it took months of requests to different agences to obtain a booking photo of a former police chief.

In the opinion, released earlier this month, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring says local law enforcement agencies must release mug shots from arrests if they have them.

However, he specifies that booking photos stored in a state criminal history database fall outside Virginia's Freedom of Information Act. Continue>>>