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Bill Would Ban Release of Mug Shots in Florida

Categories: Politicks

mugshotshotsyo.jpg
When you're arrested in Florida your mug shots gets splashed across the internet in a matter of days. That's because Florida police agencies and sheriff's departments release the photos online in compliance with Florida's progressive public record laws. Though, in recent years several commercial websites have popped up that keep those mug shots up online in perpetuity unless the suspect agrees to pay a heavy fee to have them taken down.

Well, a new bill in the Florida House that originally made it a crime to profit off of mug shots and arrest records in such a way has now been rewritten to completely ban police and correctional facilities from releasing the photos in the first place.

See also: Could Florida's Mugshot Industry Be Coming to an End?

Miami-Dade Republican Carlos Trujilo filed the bill, HB 265, last November. Originally it made "publishing or otherwise disseminating criminal record information from soliciting or accepting payment of a fee or other consideration to remove, correct, or modify such information," a first-degree misdemeanor.

Now the bill has been amended to mandate that "a county or municipal detention facility may not electronically publish or disseminate an arrest booking photograph of any arrestee who is charged with but not yet convicted of a criminal offense."

Mug shots of those not yet convicted could only be made public if media outlets specifically file a public records request for them. That might have the unintended consequence of slowing down news in today's 24/7 media cycle.

The Criminal Justice Subcommittee discussed the bill yesterday. Incidentally the subcommittee's chairman Rep. Matt Gaetz (R- Ft. Walton Beach) was arrested for a DUI back in 2008.

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Gaetz's Mugshot
"If anyone Googles my name," Gaetz said according to the Herald/Times Tallahassee bureau, "the first image that will appear is my mug shot from my arrest, and I'm of the view that that is part of who I am. I made bad decisions that resulted in an arrest, and that is sort of something that we all live with."

Regardless, the bill still received unanimous approval from the subcommittee and will move forward with the new amendment attached. The bill is also slated for discussion in the Judiciary Committee and the Justice Appropriations Subcommittee.

The Senate version of the bill currently does not include the total ban of publishing mug shots. Unlike the House version it includes a provision that would allow mug shot subjects to file a court actions to get commercial websites to take the photo down without having to pay any fees.

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48 comments
Gabriel Trujillo Jr.
Gabriel Trujillo Jr.

Then how will thugs find their shots to post to Facebook for street credit?!

Leon Heflin
Leon Heflin

most people plead guilty anyway, just post them for the guilty people.

James G. Camp
James G. Camp

I think if the police arrested you for it, chances are you did something close enough to what was charged to get arrested ? Sometimes cases are thrown out on technicalities, other times they let you plea down & fine to lesser charges. The rest of us need to know what you're about. The wolf dressed as a sheep amongst the herd of sheep shouldn't be allowed to prey and victimize others. Some of those mug shots you can tell that there are degrees of mental illness evident too. While this new law may protect some innocents, it also opens a whole new can of worms for sexual predators and so forth. Moral of the story, take the high road and raise the bar on your own personal behaviour and you shouldn't do anything to be ashamed of ?

Heather Rogerson
Heather Rogerson

It is wrong my ex was arrested for domestic violence. His loon ex was upset we were in vacation and called in a fake report. We got back he was arrested mug shot up! It was dropped of course, the idiot was not smart enough to realize he couldnt have assaulted her from 1200 miles away. That was in 2001! Until today it is on the county clerks site. You see the charge but if you don't click the case you do not see " discharged no just cause" so why is it still there ? Hers should be there for defamation! Florida needs to get it together. Now prison mugshots should stay up ! The convicted !

Chris Brao
Chris Brao

It's extortion pure and simple. They know you don't want that picture out there and thats why they keep it posted until you pay them to remove it.

Mark Gamez
Mark Gamez

Christian de la Iglesia likes this.

Robert Tetkic
Robert Tetkic

Mugshot postings should be banned. The Law clearly states citizens are iniconcent until proven guilty

Meredith Page Groom
Meredith Page Groom

So does that mean if u were NOT convicted ur mug shot will be removed from the Internet? I was arrested in 2011 but not convicted and it really embarrassed me when I Googled my name and my mug shot popped up!! I have a young son and would NEVER want his friends parents to Google me and see it. Or even a potential employer. No one even knows what I was arrested for the just see my mug shot. I had to tell him i was arrested just in case he ever stumbled across it. Ugh!!

John Martin Shepherd
John Martin Shepherd

Is this to protect all the celebrities scheduled to be arrested in Dade County over the coming years?

Patricia L Watt
Patricia L Watt

Hope the bill passes. Ruining the lives of people with a snap shot, so the idiots can watch.

Jose Arpajon
Jose Arpajon

Mugshot postings should be banned. The Law clearly states citizens are iniconcent until proven guilty.

Heather Rogerson
Heather Rogerson

Child support orders should not be public either a child can google and find out hurtful info !

Tu Madre
Tu Madre

As long as I can still do a background check...I don't need to see a mugshot. It's so degrading to the person.

tbak105secure
tbak105secure

it said it was written by a Republican.  And everybody agrees. Amazing.

James G. Camp
James G. Camp

Some of the obvious ones are funny, it's the one that is sitting on the fence that we need to know about.

Anastasia Biltmore
Anastasia Biltmore

There is no "public interest" served by the release of these records. It should be stopped.

Biofuels Chris
Biofuels Chris

Publishing arrest records does conflict with the right to due process.

jay.christopher09
jay.christopher09

They should only be allow to post mug shots  that after conviction

FatHand
FatHand

Ummm, you talkin your article about websites that extort people over their mugshots, yet you don't mention blog posts that pull those same mugshots to take unfunny cheap shots for clicks?

Seán Schauseil
Seán Schauseil

I used to use that online database to see why my students were absent to class...

Dan Marino
Dan Marino

Accused on page one with photo, apology when wrong on page 36, buried under a fucking mattress ad in the lower right corner.

Sean O'Hanlon
Sean O'Hanlon

You can be arrested for almost anything if you get a cop who is in a bad mood that day. It's unjust to punish people who haven't been convicted of anything.

Bruce Lowe-White
Bruce Lowe-White

The publishing of mugshots can be a career killer. They need to stop.

La'Shaun Williams
La'Shaun Williams

I say this is a good idea, bc when I was arrested almost 24hrs passed by before they actually booked me. So I had red eyes, bags under my eyes, a look of exhaustion & fatigue & my hair was a mess. To somebody else it will look like I was a drug addict living in the street & high at the time of booking.

Andrew Jacque
Andrew Jacque

Miami New Times releases and exposes citizen's mugshots to make up for their consistently poor quality of journalism. You guys should have closed your doors after bio-genesis and quit while you were ahead.

Andrew Creech
Andrew Creech

Hooray! Finally, we can shut down the 21st century version of the gallows, otherwise known as mugshot friday!

Alain D. Mozas
Alain D. Mozas

Blackmailing others is not a legitimate use of public records, great idea!

whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

If daddy doesn't pay the kid has a right to know.  Deadbeat daddies deserve no quarter.


whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

I'm part of the public and I'm interested...because they are hil-ar-ious.  

whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

The process of hilarity should not be impeded.  

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