Can online mug shots affect your job search? - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

FOX 5 I-Team investigates

Can online mug shots affect your job search?

Posted: Updated:
ATLANTA -

Online mug shots are an exploding phenomenon.  If you get arrested, your mug shot can show up on a lot of these sites. You can pay to get your mug shot pulled, but erasing it from every web site is very difficult.

A mug shot doesn't tell the whole story. Were you convicted? Was it a mistake? Mary-Stokes Reiss is a professional, and says she is terrified that her mug shot will be her first introduction to a potential new employer.

"My mug shot was right there," said Mary-Stokes Reiss.

Reiss is in her 20s and has a whole lot of job hunting ahead of her.

"It's embarrassing. Reputation is everything," said Reiss.

How did her mug shot end up on the internet? She's in outside sales and was headed to an appointment when she got pulled over by police for speeding.  
 
"He says, 'Ma'am, I need you to step out of the car,'" said Reiss.

She says she had no idea that her license had been suspended for paying a ticket a few days late.

"Now I'm in this situation. I'm in the back of a cop car, handcuffed," Reiss said.

After 12-hours in lock-up, Mary-Stokes got out and got a lawyer. The charges sorted out, but then got another big surprise.

"I'm applying for new jobs. Just decided to Google myself, just to see what was showing up," said Reiss.

She found her mug shot. Frantic, she says, she paid several hundred dollars to have it removed from one mug shot site.  Then, it popped up again on another one. She says they too wanted money to remove the record of this one crazy day she'd like to forget.

It felt endless. How did a speeding ticket turn into an online war to save her reputation? The I-Team took her situation to the head of a big company. A hiring expert says Reiss does need to control this, but, first she says, take a deep breath. Bad things happen to good people.

"Don't be hard on yourself," said Amy Gallagher of UHY Advisors.

Gallagher says she's seen potential hires' mug shots before she's actually seen them in person. But, she says - depending on the crime - it doesn't have the impact that you might think.

"First and foremost are the qualifications on the resume," said Gallagher.

But, if like Reiss you land in the pages of a criminal yearbook, she says you can't ignore the problem. She advises be honest on your application, but also don't bring it up in an interview unless they do.

"I guess I'll disclose it when I have to and just hope it won't be a deciding factor," said Reiss.

Reiss paid about $450 to have her mug shot removed. But there are still remnants of it left on the Internet that will may never go away.

  • I-Team Story ArchiveMore>>

  • Fox 5 I-Team

    Cheap vs. Frugal

    Cheap vs. Frugal

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:15 AM EDT2014-04-23 13:15:25 GMT
    There is nothing wrong with saving a buck, but can you cross the line? There is a difference between being cheap and being frugal.
    There is nothing wrong with saving a buck, but can you cross the line? There is a difference between being cheap and being frugal.
  • Fox 5 I-Team

    Save on Vacation

    Save on Vacation

    Monday, April 21 2014 9:56 AM EDT2014-04-21 13:56:05 GMT
    Thinking about vacation is a lot of fun. Thinking about what it'll cost you is not so fun. Here are some ideas for cutting costs.
    Thinking about vacation is a lot of fun. Thinking about what it'll cost you is not so fun. Here are some ideas for cutting costs.
  • Get Financially Fit: A Step-By-Step Plan

    Get Financially Fit: A Step-By-Step Plan

    Monday, April 14 2014 9:15 AM EDT2014-04-14 13:15:13 GMT
    April is Financial Literacy Month, so it's time to think about getting financially fit.  Let's start with two questions. Do you know how much you spend each month?  How much of your check should you save?
    April is Financial Literacy Month, so it's time to think about getting financially fit.  Let's start with two questions:  Do you know how much you spend each month?  How much of your check should you save?
  • Contact the FOX 5 I-Team

    * denotes required fields

    We're sorry, but only one entry is allowed per person.
    Thank you for your continued interest.

    Thanks for contacting FOX 5.  To reach our newsroom by phone, please call (404) 898-0100.

  • Good Day ArchiveMore>>

  • Dine Out for Project Open Hand

    Dine Out for Project Open Hand

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:39 AM EDT2014-04-23 13:39:13 GMT
    Head out to the a participating restaurant to celebrate the 22nd anniversary of Dining Out For Life.
    Head out to the a participating restaurant to celebrate the 22nd anniversary of Dining Out For Life.
  • Fox 5 I-Team

    Cheap vs. Frugal

    Cheap vs. Frugal

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:15 AM EDT2014-04-23 13:15:25 GMT
    There is nothing wrong with saving a buck, but can you cross the line? There is a difference between being cheap and being frugal.
    There is nothing wrong with saving a buck, but can you cross the line? There is a difference between being cheap and being frugal.
  • Mountain Festival Brings Music, Dancing To Dahlonega Square

    Mountain Festival Brings Music, Dancing To Dahlonega Square

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:08 AM EDT2014-04-23 13:08:13 GMT
    The North Georgia town of Dahlonega is best-known for its gold. But this weekend, music will bring more than 50,000 people to the historic town square.
    The North Georgia town of Dahlonega is best-known for its gold. But this weekend, music will bring more than 50,000 people to the historic town square.
Powered by WorldNow

KSAZ-TV & KUTP
511 W. Adams St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Phone: (602) 257-1234
Fax: (602) 262-0177

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices