Florida mugshot removal is getting easier by leveraging Florida’s mugshot law. Enforcement of the law does not seem to be a priority for law enforcement officials in Florida. In fact, the Flagler county sheriff keeps the image of anyone they arrest public on their New Order system. Lee county Sherriff officials publicly state on their website: Photos (mug shots) and arrest information are public records and can only be removed by F.S.S. 119 exemption, court order, or expunction. This is regardless of your case outcome. To file for an expunction, you will need to contact the Lee County Clerk of Court. Once the record is sealed or expunged, please allow two to four weeks for the Lee County Sheriff’s Office to be notified, and the record will be removed. Website arrest information reflects publicly available arrest information and does not reflect the disposition of a criminal case. For the disposition of a criminal case, please contact the Lee County Clerk of Court. This creates the need for a balance between public safety and a need to know.
Every year, hundreds of people in Florida are arrested for various crimes. Unfortunately, the information about their arrest is often published online, sometimes even on a mugshot gallery page. This can lead to many negative consequences down the line including being refused employment or housing. Luckily, it is possible to have these posts removed by filing a petition under Florida’s “Unlawful Posting of Personal Information” statute. The law states: A person commits unlawful posting if he knowingly publishes personal information on any website accessible via a computer network without first obtaining consent from each individual whose image appears in such publication. In other words, you must get permission before publishing someone else’s picture and/or name. If your case goes to court, there are two ways that this could be proven. First, you would need to show that they posted the photo themselves. Second, you can prove it was done with their knowledge or consent. This is not an easy task because most people do not realize how much damage can occur when photos are published online.
In Florida, or other states with strong public record laws anyone can come along and publish a mugshot and leave it online. This simple search of your name can result in pages of personal information on people arrested, people charged with a crime, and those who have been taken into custody. Many people are unaware that a mugshot is technically a crime scene photo and can be accessed by anyone with an internet connection and a desire to search online for public arrest records.
Florida Mugshot Removal Law
We imagine that eventually all states or at least a federal statute will abolish this savage practice of publishing a booking photo in the hopes of a person finding it and eventually paying a fee for its removal. Of all the ways to make money, this is one of the easiest ways to make enemies. We have always stood by the position that this type of blackmail errors on the side of illegal in the sense that no one can profit or make money from your image other than yourself or individuals that you grant that permission to. One can only hope that this is a sign of the times to come as our lawmakers finally put an end to this unethical nonsense. Google and the payment processors have done their part after the Wired expose piece that was published on the industry.
Criminal History Records; Prohibiting a person or entity engaged in publishing or disseminating arrest booking photographs from soliciting or accepting a fee or other payment to remove a photograph; authorizing a person whose arrest booking photograph is published to request in writing that it be removed; requiring the Criminal Justice Information Program to administratively seal the criminal history records of an adult or a minor upon notification by the clerk of the court under specified circumstances, etc.
Florida Representative Jason Fischer (R -Duval) proposed a new bill that would force mugshot websites and other booking sites to remove booking photos upon request by the person in the photograph. Any publisher that fails to comply with a written removal request within ten days is subject to a civil penalty. Failure to comply with the request would result in a $1000 daily penalty until the mugshot is taken down. To develop the bill, Fischer collaborated with Aaron Bean, a Florida State Representative, and Blake Mathesie (a Florida law student).
This bill will offer a second chance for thousands of people whose lives and reputations have been damaged by websites that publish arrest photos. This bill requires such publications to remove mugshots within ten days of receiving a sanctioned request.
What happens if the sites refuse to remove the mugshot within 10 days?
The website can be sued for an injunction that will require them to remove your mugshot. For non-compliance, the judge who is presiding over the case can impose fines of up to $1, 000 per day on the company.
In some cases, a Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act allows you to sue a website. Some mugshot websites have changed their policies to not accept payments for the removal of mugshots. Some site records can be deleted by simply giving dismissal or expungement documentation granted by a Judge. RemoveMyMugshot.org can convince websites in many cases to remove mugshots with help from our legal team. Predatory websites search public archives, news sites, and databases of arrest records from law enforcement for mugshot images then publish them online. These images remain online if nothing is done to remove them.
On October 2021, Florida’s mugshot removal law allowed individuals to request that their booking and arrest photos be removed from public and private databases. In order to make a request under the law you need to:
- Submit a written request
- The request must be sent by registered mail and include “sufficient proof of identification of the person whose arrest booking photograph was published or otherwise disseminated and specific information identifying the arrest booking photograph that the written request is seeking to remove.”
- Within 10 calendar days after receipt of the request for removal, the publisher must remove the mugshot for free and cannot republish it.
- The law states “if the arrest record and photograph is not removed within 10 calendar days after receipt of the written request for removal. The court may impose a civil penalty of $1,000 per day for noncompliance”.
How can mugshots be removed from the internet in Florida?
In general, mugshots can be removed from the internet in Florida with a court order. If a person has a mugshot online and need to have it removed, they should contact a local attorney to help them obtain the proper legal paperwork. The attorney will advise them on how to proceed and what they need to do. The attorney will also likely charge a fee for this service.
Other methods to remove a mugshot in Florida
Mugshot removal in Florida is governed by state law. Anyone can petition to have mugshots removed in cases where the charges were dismissed, the case was adjudicated without judgment, or upon a reversal from an appellate court. The Miami-Dade county clerk’s office has a mugshot removal process on their website. In order to remove your mugshot, you must fill out and submit a form with all of the necessary details about why you want it taken down. If approved, they will send you a letter stating that your mugshot has been deleted.
To do this, you need to take a picture of yourself, post it on a variety of different social media websites, and share it with your friends. These photo-based sites include Facebook, Pinterest, WordPress, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Instagram, and other websites. It is important to replace the content of your mugshot with more relevant content. Use alt tags on your images to ensure that you do not lose these elements if the content changes. Don’t forget to add your name to the photos. Wait for a few months and the tags and name will replace the content. The most important tip for avoiding a mugshot is to begin a website, using your own name and a photo. This will create new information about you, pushing up the old mugshots and bringing them If they keep doing the same things, they get lower and lower in the rankings.
Learn how to remove Illinois mugshots from the internet freely.
Alex Adekola is a thought leader in the reputation management industry who has targeted mugshot publishers since 2012. Alex Adekola is the longest-serving reputation and crisis management strategist and has written a book on mugshot removal. He is the creator and director of strategy at RemoveMyMugshot.org