In recent years, so-called “attractive criminals” have seen their arrest mugshots posted online, shared on social media, and turned into Internet memes. Far from amusing, this online display can have lasting negative consequences on a person’s life.
That includes the ability to secure/retain a job, qualify for loans or financial assistance, and other scenarios. Many people have also experienced failed or strained romantic and family relationships and other adverse repercussions as a direct result of mugshot sharing.
However, a new Florida law changes how photographic elements of official arrest records can be processed and distributed. In this article, you’ll learn how to get mugshots removed from unauthorized websites.
Know the Rules
There was a time where the only way to have mugshots removed from third-party websites was to pay a fee. In some cases, disreputable agents demanded exorbitant sums. Unfortunately, even after payment some images still remained.
However, a measure (signed into law in 2017 by Florida Governor Rick Scott and effective as of July 2018) requires the owners of commercial sites to immediately remove mugshots at the request of the person pictured. In addition, the law bars webmasters from charging fees for mugshot removal.
Website owners who fail to honor requests could face up to a $1,000 per day fine, plus related court costs. Requestors must send a written appeal by registered mail with sufficient proof they are the person depicted in the mugshot. The website owner then has 10 days from receipt of the letter to comply with the new law, or face the mentioned consequences.
While proponents celebrate the new-found power this new law grants, some critics remain wary of its benefits.
That’s due, in part, to the fact that the measure applies only to those webmasters whose sites currently charge fees to remove mugshots. Other outlets (such as newspapers that archive published mugshots) are not bound the new provisions. That means it’s possible that your mugshot (or that of a loved one) could still be found through web search.
One way to ensure online remnants of past arrest and incarceration records are adequately expunged is to contact a trusted and reputable Daytona criminal lawyer. This professional advocate can help you better understand your rights and legal options.
Petition for Removal
Along with the mentioned action of sending a registered letter, there are other methods by which you can work to have online mugshots permanently removed.
For instance, in the case of media outlet archives, you can send an official request to have these images removed. It’s important to note, however, that simply asking does not constitute a legal requirement, even with the new law. That’s why it’s imperative to partner with Daytona Beach attorneys who can help you stand up for your rights and secure satisfactory results.
For more than 35 years, we’ve helped countless Central Florida residents with a variety of legal situations. From criminal defense, to family law, real estate, business and corporate law, personal injury/wrongful death, and more, our friendly and knowledgeable Volusia County attorneys are focused on providing the most accurate and up-to-date legal counsel available. Contact us today with all your questions, or to begin legal proceedings.