Florida Law Updates: How to Remove a Mugshot from an Online Database

When someone is arrested in Florida, the mugshot taking at the police station can haunt them for the rest of their lives, even if they are never charged or convicted. Many professional organizations, educational institutions, and employers may turn someone away just because of a mugshot. A new bill signed by Governor Scott should make it easier to escape the stigma of a mugshot.

Before the bill was signed, online databases that collect and post mugshots could charge people fees to have it taken down. If multiple websites posted a mugshot of an individual, it could easily cost hundreds or thousands of dollars to have the mugshot removed from all sources and their reputation restored. This is no longer the case. The bill signed by Governor Scott makes it illegal for online databases to charge or solicit a fee for the removal of mugshots. As the bill states, refusing or failing to remove an arrest booking photograph is now to be considered a direct violation of Florida’s trade practice laws.

If a mugshot is not removed from a website within 10 days of receipt of a removal petition, the online database company can be charged $1,000 a day by the state and face a lawsuit with restitutions brought forth by the petitioner.

(You can review the bill in full by clicking here and visiting the Florida Administrative Code & Florida Administrative Register website.)

Petitioning for Mugshot Removal

Is there an arrest booking photograph of you on the internet that you would rather not see? You can send a petition for its removal to the online database that has posted it. You need to follow specific instructions when creating your petition, which will be sent through traditional mail. Despite the signing of the new bill, online databases may still be able to keep a mugshot posted if there are flaws in the petition.

You can remove the guesswork from your petition by teaming up with a Miami criminal defense attorney from Fischer Redavid PLLC. We are a highly-experienced, sharply-focused team of legal professionals dedicated to getting things done right the first time. Contact us today for more information about our criminal defense legal services.

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