Back in the spring of 2017, the Florida Senate, with a unanimous vote, voted to approve the very important mugshot removal law. This law was one really innovative in that it attacked directly the problem of mugshot websites that were making big profits out of exploiting Floridians’ mugshots, including those mugshots that were taken after individuals were arrested for crimes that they were later found not guilty for. Unfortunately, while then-Governor Rick Scott signed that bill into law, he didn’t approve all of it — nor could he due to a secondary part of the bill being contingent on the passing of one of two counterpart bills (either Senate Bill 450 or Senate Bill 369). Therefore, what could have been a very powerful law that stood in favor of those impacted by leeching websites like www mugshots com Florida, was partially neutered. Yet, it still offers some great protections. The following is a look at both the good, the bad and ugly of Florida’s mugshot law every citizen should be aware of.
Understanding Florida’s Mugshot Removal Law
The Good — What got passed into law was critical language that gave citizens some extra power to fight mugshot websites. Under the law, individuals who find their booking photographs online (and it is unfortunately really easy to learn how to find past mugshots for free) can submit a sort of cease and disease letter to those websites hosting their information. The mugshot websites then have ten calendar days upon receipt of that written request to remove the individual’s information. If they fail to do so, that website can be fined $1,000 per day for non-compliance following the ten-day grace period and the individual submitting the request may pursue civil actions with the courts in their favor.
Note, what’s most exciting about the Florida mugshot removal law is that it is applicable regardless of what happened with the charges. This means that a person can be found guilty, not guilty, the charges dismissed, and everything else in between and they still can seek online mugshot removal via the Florida bill.
The Bad — The bill was originally a two-parter. The first part outlined the aforementioned removal of mug shots upon request by individuals. But the second part, the part that wasn’t signed into law due to the inability of the Florida Senate to pass the counterpart bills, would have allowed the clerk of court to seal cases that were either not filed or dismissed prior to trial. This would have gone a long way to preventing websites from obtaining arrest records altogether.
The Ugly — Because many of these mugshot websites are not based in Florida, with some being based outside of US jurisdiction like the Caribbean, it can be very difficult to get compliance. Or one mugshot website may remove a person’s booking photograph, but then that information may show up on a sister site the next week. A sort of whack-a-mole situation.
Get Professional Help
If you’re frustrated by the legalese or have had problems removing your information altogether from the web, then it may be time to call in the pros. Contact our team at EraseMugshots.com to learn more.