Experts Explain Why You Should Never Smile In Custody Mug Shot

Experts have explained the reason you should never smile in your mug shot, and it has left the internet divided.
Credit: Marion County Sheriff's Office & Miami-Dade Corrections

Experts have explained the important reason why you should never smile in a mug shot.

For the vast majority of us, having a mug shot taken is an experience we’re more than happy to do without.

But when looking over others’ mug shots, it’s safe to say the internet has a lot of opinions.

Take Jeremy Meeks, who was nicknamed ‘The Blue-Eyed Bandit’ and ‘Jail Bae’ after his striking mug shot went viral in 2014.

He now has a net worth of around £4 million, according to The Sun!

But this week, experts have revealed that there’s a pertinent reason why you should never smile in your custody photos…

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Experts across social media have explained why you should never smile in a mugshot, and the advice has left the internet divided.

One writes: “Well, I hope I never need this advice!”

“I wasn’t planning on ever having a mug shot!” laughs another.

However, another commenter points out: “I would be legit sobbing to [the] point of drought in my eyes.”

Another agrees: “Yes thank you!!! I was telling a friend how silly it is when I see people smiling in their mug shot.”

Angenette Marie Missett
Experts say you should never smile if you have a custody mug shot. Credit: Marion County Sheriff’s Office

Using the example of Angenette Marie Missett, who famously smiled in her mugshot before being sentenced to 11 years in prison for killing a mother of three in a car crash, legal experts have revealed why this isn’t the best idea.

On YouTube, one lawyer, named Narimon Pishnamaz, partner at injury trial law firm Law & Pish, is known as @AttorneyPish.

He explains: “So imagine you get arrested like this woman did for a DUI that ended up killing someone. Does this look like a woman who is remorseful for the crime she committed, that ended up killing someone?

“The jury is going to absolutely hate you… and by the way, that woman is a real person, and she was sentenced to 11 years in prison.”

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Another attorney, @AttorneyTom, also warns against smiling in a mug shot – pointing out that the photo will stay on the internet forever.

He says: “I was just on my way to my office and the radio DJ I was listening to made some comment about how you should smile in your mugshot because this picture will live on the internet forever.

“That is the worst advice I’ve ever heard and let me tell you why.

“Does this look like someone who is sorry? Who is remorseful for what they just did?

“Despite the fact they could have killed or injured somebody? No. They are smiling. This is why this case matters. This is why we are seeking the maximum sentence.”

Numerous celebrities have gone viral for smiling in their mug shots – from Justin Bieber grinning in his after being arrested for drunk driving in 2014, to Paris Hilton’s arrest in 2006 for a DUI.

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Written by Annie Walton Doyle

Annie Walton Doyle is a content editor at IGV who specialises in trending, lifestyle and entertainment news. She graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London, with a degree in English Literature. Annie has previously worked with organisations such as The Huffington Post, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Harvard University, the Pulitzer Prize and 22 Words.