Florida Mugshot Removal: Here’s What to Know
May 4, 2021 Arrest Records | information removal | Mugshot Removal | remove mugshot | Uncategorized
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Florida mugshot removal starts with understanding how your mugshot got onto the internet in the first place. Then, you should take steps to remove it, and fast.
It is often a shocking event for people to find out that their booking photograph is online But it gets worse. For some, the very first search of their name on Google will bring up arrest records and Google images mugshots. So if all someone you meet knows is your name, then this may be the first impression they get of you.
When a Florida mugshot pops up on the first page of a search results, it can be extremely embarrassing. Having it up online at all is frustrating and can damage your reputation. Public arrest records can damage relationships, employment opportunities, and even housing opportunities.
This is especially true for those who were never found guilty. With not guilty cases, you would not have had to disclose on employment or housing forms but now the internet will disclose for you.
How Your Mugshot Got Online & Why You Need Florida Mugshot Removal
The whole process of getting a mugshot online to where you need Florida mugshot removal starts with the arrest. You may face arrest for doing something against the law. But not always.
Sometimes, in fact, police may arrest you based on an unfounded accusation. Sometimes an arrest happens and an officer, not having enough evidence, overcharges the individual. They may hope later evidence will come to light or expect a plea to downgrade.
In any case, you get arrested and the charges get connected.
After the arrest, the police officer takes the individual to the local jail or holding facility. There, they go through the booking process. The booking process includes the creation of digital and physical records about the arrest. The digital record is what individuals have to concern themselves about.
Police store everything that happens during the booking process in that digital record. This includes fingerprints, every charge made against the individual (and where affiliated events took place), full name and address, and the booking photograph itself.
Most refer to these booking photos as mugshots.
Mugshot Removal: After it Becomes Fair Game
After the booking process, officials may either send you to holding for later release or transfer. This is also when the digital file gets stored and later made available to anyone who uses the correct forms to request it. Yes, once an individual’s arrest record gets created, anyone can request to see it.
In many counties, including Florida counties, a full record of all arrests within the last 24 hours goes onto government websites. In some cases, an individual’s booking photograph may be available publicly before they even get out of jail.
Once available, it’s fair game for anyone to publish the found information. Initially, just local newspapers published booking information for public consumption and warning. And many local groups still do. For example, Florida’s Alachua County has a print and online paper called the Alachua Chronicle.
As part of their daily columns, they publish a fresh jail booking log of every arrest. This booking log includes individuals’ full name, their date of birth, and all charges made against them.
In addition to these public newspapers, there are entities known as mugshot websites. Mugshot websites aren’t newspapers like Alachua Chronicle which publish a variety of news. Rather, mugshot websites publish only mugshots and arrest records.
How do mugshot sites make money?
They make money in two ways:
- Through ad revenue generated by curious people going to the website.
- By offering to remove a featured person’s information if they pay a certain fee.
This fee for removal often gets called a ransom fee as the mugshot websites hold your information ransom. This ransom fee is what really gives these websites a notorious reputation.
Most don’t care about the arrests themselves or whether an individual received a not guilty verdict. They don’t even care if the courts dismissed the charges altogether. All they care about is that cash. Pay them the hundreds or sometimes thousands of dollars and they will unpublish your records.
That doesn’t mean, however, that they won’t sell or give your information away to another site who will then post your mugshot again. Then, again, that website will require its own payment for un-publishing.
See how frustrating and fruitless than can be? Plus, all the while, you might have potential employers, landlords, and community members searching your name. Each time someone does, they find those records.
These online mugshots can cause you to lose opportunities and force you to have difficult conversations before you are ready.
There is good news though! Especially if you live in the state of Florida thanks to its passing a series of exciting laws to protect individuals and their information.
Florida’s New Mugshot Removal Law Makes it Easier to Get Information Off the Internet
Florida now has some exciting legislature designed to deal with online mugshots. After recognizing how predatorial these mugshot websites can be, legislatures took notice. They also took notice of how frustrating it was for newspapers to post every arrest.
Because remember, only the arrests get posted in things like daily jail booking logs, not what happens after the arrest. So traditionally, if you had your case dismissed, charges dropped, or found not guilty, your information would still be up on the newspaper outlets. And there used to be nothing you could do about it.
Now, Floridians have a new Florida mugshot removal law. This removal law makes it possible for individuals to request any online publication to remove their mugshot and affiliated information. Yes, any publication, meaning both newspapers and mugshot websites. Also, yes, anyone with their information online can make the request.
This means if the court finds you:
- Not guilty
- Charges dismissed
- Charges downgraded
- Everything in between and out
This availability for anyone — regardless of how the changes play out — to get their information removed is a first in the country. We hope that more states follow suit. This law makes it much easier for individuals to take control of their life by getting criminal information removed.
You can use the new Florida mugshot removal law to send a sort of cease and desist letter to the relevant website. The website will then have ten days to remove all your information from every page the website has it on.
After that ten-day grace period, if they don’t take down the requested information, they face a fine of $1,000 for each day of delay. You will need to file a civil suit for this but the judge will often require the webmaster or host to pay other fees. Fees like all attorney fees and other court costs related to the suit against them.
Your attorney may also advise filing suit under Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.
Working With Professionals to Take Advantage of Florida Mugshot Removal Law
Florida has made it easier to get mugshots removed, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy for everyone. It is still a process to get mugshots removed. You have to search for your images and information in order to find the websites and online publications. Once found, you have to follow the specifics of the Florida removal law in order to send the right cease and desist letters. Once that fails, you have to go through the courts to ensure compliance.
Those are a lot of steps. There is also an alternative. You hire a professional mugshot removal team like EraseMugshots.
Need a proven Florida Mugshot removal?
We can help.
Our team at EraseMugshots is a verifiable team. We provide services that are simply unavailable to the individual trying to do all the work on their own. Such as the process of finding and eliminating online records on their own.
That’s because the online mugshot industry is like a whack-a-mole game at the circus. As soon as you get your information off one site, it can pop up on another. This is because the law does not apply to jail or other official records. Thus, the owners behind online resources can still find records of arrests and publish them.
That said, they tend to like newer information. So the more time that passes since your arrest, the less likely you’re going to get featured on any mugshot website. Especially if you have a team like ours working fast to remove all results of your name as they come up.
And we do move fast. We work 24/7 to monitor these notorious websites as well as search instances of your name. As websites publish your information, we start sending them the letters. We also take other necessary actions to get that information removed. That’s what it is like to have a team on your side.
The bad news is that while Florida mugshot removal has gotten really fast and easy for us, not all states are the same. If you were arrested outside of Florida or the webmaster of a site isn’t located in Florida, things can be harder to tackle. Yet, harder isn’t impossible. We work hard on all cases so that our clients can get control of their information and not let past information control them.