Do you know the Florida mugshot laws? Florida passed legislation in 2017 and 2021 that tried to discuss the long-standing dilemma of the mugshot site industry that has developed as a result of the internet revolution.
Floridians are familiarized with websites that accumulate mug shots from the internet and dispense them to the world.
Profiting from people is what these websites do and many laws, unfortunately, protect them. The FOIA or Freedom of Information Act allows the distribution of public information. But how far is too far?
This even happens to those individuals whose cases were dismissed or have been found not guilty at trial.
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Booking information is frequently published from county offices within moments of the arrest transpiring. County jails work the same way, as soon as you are booked, your data is deemed public knowledge. Meaning these mug shot publication sites are not obligated to remove anything.
The whole industry functions based on a method of extortion of money from the inoffensive and guilty alike. These fed off of embarrassment and humiliation without respect to personal privacy or honesty.
Conventional techniques of sealing or expunging documents never applied to the mugshot sites. Expungement and sealing records essentially means your case is no longer considered public information and therefore it can not be posted after the expungement/sealing is granted by a judge.
Without submitting your legal dismissal(s) to each mugshot website they may never remove your arrest details from their database.
Purchasing or applying for an expungement does not remove any mugshot from news sites once they are already published. Mugshot sites claim they make no assumptions about any individuals posted as they simply publish your mug shot photograph with the booking information.
Nine times out of ten they end result or verdict is not listed which leaves it up to the users researching to assume that that individual was guilty of the alleged charges.
As the publications start to hit the internet, each website leaches for one another creating a ‘whack-a-mole’ situation per se.
Despite this new legislation, the websites will proceed to post free mugshots to the public eye resulting in them generating income from advertisement and removal revenue.
There are over 1 billion searches a day for individuals’ names across the world. These background report websites not only disclose private data but they can help to get a good understanding of how that person is in real life.
Understanding Florida Mugshot Laws
In 2021, Florida Representative Jason Fischer (R-Duval) sponsored a new bill that would require mugshot websites to remove booking photos if requested by the person in the photo. The bill also creates a civil penalty for any publisher who does not comply with a written mugshot removal request within 10 days. Failure to comply would result in a daily $1000 penalty until the mug shot is taken down.
Fischer worked with Florida State Representative Aaron Bean and Florida law student Blake Mathesie to develop the new bill.
The House bill proposed by Rep. Fischer awaits a vote on the House floor. If passed, the bill will give a second chance to thousands of people who have had their lives and reputations tarnished by any website that publishes an arrest photo.
By directing legislation towards the mugshot sites it makes the method more comfortable for you. Planning enactment for entities or people that accepts payment for the removal of posted mugshot photographs. The bill demands such publications to remove mugshots within 10 days after obtaining a sanctioned request to do so.
What happens if these sites should refuse to remove the mugshot in 10 days?
You can sue the website for an injunction to require them to remove the mugshot. The judge presiding over the lawsuit can force fines on the company in upwards up $1, 000 per day for non-compliance.
Suing a website in some cases works under the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.
In summation, it’s important to keep in mind that this law only refers to websites that acquire money for removals. You cannot demand to pay them in exchange for removing the mugshots.
To bypass this law, some websites have adjusted their policies and no longer take payments in exchange for the removal of mugshots. Certain site records can be removed by solely giving dismissal or expungement paperwork awarded by a Judge.
In many cases, there is potential for NetReputation to convince these websites to remove mugshots through our legal team.
Knowing the Florida mugshot laws can save you much time and stress without burning a hole in your pocket.
If you are currently fighting to remove local criminal records from the first several pages of Google please fulfill the form below as we will reach out as soon as it is feasible with a perfectly outlined removal program provisioned to your specific requirements. Learn more about Florida mugshot laws today.