A lawyer has revealed why people should never choose to smile in their mugshot photos if they ever find they are being arrested.

Having your mugshot taken is not something people usually relish, but some criminals – and celebrities, including Morgan Wallen during his recent arrest – have gone viral in recent years for grinning while their photo is taken in the police station.

And while it may seem like a great way to get an iconic snap to tell your friends and grandchildren about, smiling in your mugshot photo can be a seriously bad idea.

Narimon Pishnamaz, who is a partner at the injury law firm Law & Pish, from California, has explained exactly why.


Justin Bieber mugshot

Justin Bieber famously smiled in his mugshot. Credit: Miami-Dade Police Department via Getty Images


He took to YouTube under the name @AttorneyPish to explain why it’s always better to remain straight-faced when having a mugshot photo done, after a woman who smiled in hers soon lived to regret it.

Pishnamaz used the example of Angenette Marie Missett, whose smiling mugshot went viral before she was sentenced to 11 years in prison for killing a mother of three in a car crash.

He explained that grinning away after such a horrible incident isn’t going to curry any favor with the jury that is deciding your fate.

“The jury is absolutely going to hate you if they see that you smiled in your mugshot after you just killed someone,” he explained.

Sharing a photo of Missett, he added: “So imagine you get arrested like this woman did for a DUI that ended up killing someone.

“And imagine if they put this mugshot up during trial and ask the jury if this looks like a woman who is remorseful for the crime she committed.”

He warned that not looking sorry enough about your crime could result in a longer sentence, revealing: “As a result this woman ended up getting 11 years in prison.”

Missett’s case made the headlines in 2018 after she was charged with driving under the influence in a crash that caused 60-year-old Sandra Clarkson critical injuries which later resulted in her death, and also injured Clarkson’s 18-year-old daughter Shiyanna Kroll.

Police said Missett’s blood alcohol content was .172, more than twice the legal limit, when she slammed into the back of the vehicle Clarkson and Kroll were in, causing it to crash into the trailer truck in front of it in Marion County, Florida.

Her smiling mugshot caused so much outrage after it went viral that a new one had to be taken.

She had faced a minimum of four years in prison and a maximum of 15 after pleading no contest to manslaughter, but ended up with 11, on the higher end of the scale.

Missett told the court before sentencing: “I am truly, truly sorry and if I could change spots with your mother I would in a heartbeat. I am sorry. I am sorry. I am truly, truly sorry.”

Lindsay Lohan mugshot

Lindsay Lohan’s smirking mugshot also went viral. Credit: Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department via WireImage/Getty Images


She is not the only person who has opted to smile in their mugshot, as Justin Bieber famously grinned after he was arrested for drunk driving and resisting arrest in 2014 in Miami, before he was released the same day on $2,500 bail.

Lindsay Lohan also smirked in her mugshot after she was arrested in 2006 for a DUI, and again in 2007 for violating her probation by knowingly driving without a valid license.

So if you ever find yourself on the wrong side of the law, make sure to make your most remorseful face when they come to take your photo.

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