Will My Mug Shot be in “The Slammer?”

If I get arrested will my mug shot be in “The Slammer?”

This is a question I hear a lot as a criminal defense attorney in Raleigh.  I heard it even more in my previous career as a Wake County Magistrate.  I always give the same answer…. “Maybe.”

Unfortunately this answer usually does not satisfy the person asking it.  But it is the right answer.  And it might not seem fair to the  person whose face will be plastered in stores around Raleigh.  “It’s not fair” I remember one arrestee telling me, “I am innocent of the charges I have been arrested for and now this embarrassing picture of me will be all over the place!”

Well, technically the image is public record and is available to the public through different law enforcement agencies.   The Slammer gets it mug shot from the City-County Bureau of Identification who processes all of the arrestees in Wake County.

For those of you who are not familiar with the “Slammer,” let me see if I can explain.  Basically it is a weekly publication filled with mug shots of people that have been arrested and little article on crime.  It is available in Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, North Carolina (Raleigh / Triangle Area and Mecklenburg Co.), Ohio, Kansas and Texas.  A new issue comes out every Friday and is sold in convince stores in the stated markets.

Around Raleigh you can find The Slammer at most gas stations and convince stores.  Many people have mixed feelings about The Slammer.  Some feel it is in bad taste and others think it is a great service to the community.  The magazine states that “The Slammer‘s mission is to help reduce crime, locate missing persons, bring fugitives to justice and provide information that assists authorities in making our communities safer.”

If you are arrested in Raleigh or the Triangle… there is a chance
you mug shot will be in “The Slammer.”


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