They are commonly known as "tramp stamps" but for some, tattoos are the ultimate expression of identity and for the real enthusiast the face is the ultimate canvas.
The problem is that if you're following a life of crime, you might want to be a little more discreet.
Not so the hard men and women from rogue galleries across the US that we've pictured here. Identity parades hold no fear for them.
While some expressed themselves with pictures, others were able to sum up their character in just one word.
Jamie Calloway, 33, from Ohio, became the latest suspect to join the growing list of body-art terrorists and their ill-judged mugshots. She had the "God" tattooed across her forehead when she was arrested for stalking.
After years of being convicted for other unholy acts such as theft, menacing and drug possession, she never lost her faith in the man upstairs.
Here are just a few of the more interesting mugshots that guaranteed their subjects a place in the Mugshot Hall of Fame.