Florida Governor Rick Scott just signed a bill on Friday that will allow individuals with sealed records to have their mugshot removed from websites without having to pay a fee. The bill takes effect on July 1, 2018.
As a criminal defense attorney, I believe the legislature made the right decision by enacting this law. In fact, the legislature also allowed for a $1,000 per day penalty (that goes to the general revenue fund) for those websites who don’t comply with the new law.
The process to have your mugshot removed from one these websites that typically charges a fee will be to:
1) Make a request in writing with the registered agent or entity who is publishing the photo. The request must be done by registered mail and include sufficient proof of the identification of the person in the photo.
2) Wait 10 days
3) After 10 days, you can ask a civil court for damages in amount of $1,000 per day for noncompliance with an injunction. This civil action can also include reasonable attorney fees. The money again goes to the general revenue fund.
It appears that the Orlando Sentinel incorrectly reported that the same bill that was signed by Rick Scott also created a provision that would automatically seal records for those who were found not guilty and thus trigger the removal process of the mugshot. However, that section of the bill was tied to another bill which has not been signed by Rick Scott and thus has not become the law.
If you have any questions about sealing or expunging of records, Frost Law can help. Contact an attorney today at (407) 670-5569.