New Law Restricts Use of Mugshots
Act 494 Restricts Use of Mugshots
We would like to inform the public of a new law that will affect how we release mugshots of individuals after an arrest.
Effective June 16, 2022, Governor Edwards' signed House Bill 729 into law following the 2022 legislative session. House Bill 729, now Act. No. 494, limits law enforcement officers and agencies from publishing, releasing or disseminating booking photographs in any format, subject to some of the following exceptions:
- The individual is a fugitive, and a law enforcement officer or agency determines that releasing or disseminating the booking photograph will assist in apprehending the individual.
- A law enforcement officer or agency determines that the individual is an imminent threat to an individual or to public safety and releasing or disseminating the booking photo will reduce or eliminate the threat.
- A judge orders the release or dissemination of the booking photograph.
- The individual is convicted of or pleads guilty or nolo contendere to a crime defined in Article 558, or if there is criminal litigation related to the same crime that is pending or reasonably anticipated.
Additionally, a booking photograph may be released if the suspect is charged with a crime of violence as defined in La. R.S. 14:2(B) or charged with the following offenses:
- Sex offenses
- Human trafficking offenses
- Offenses affecting the health and morals of minors
- Offenses affecting the health and safety of persons with infirmities
- Video voyeurism
- Cruelty to animals
In response to Act 494, the St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office has adjusted its policies in reference to the release of booking photographs.
We will continue to release information on arrestees in order to keep the citizens of St. Mary Parish informed to the degree that the law will allow.
Meanwhile, all mugshots have been disabled on our website and on our mobile app until developers can redesign and implement the changes.
Public Information Officer
St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office