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Mugshot Websites Targeted by New Florida Law

Mugshot Websites Targeted by New Florida Law

(Muhammad Annurmal/Dreamstime)

By    |   Thursday, 21 June 2018 12:02 PM

Mugshot websites are being targeted by a new Florida law that prohibits them from demanding fees in return for removing arrest photos from their platforms, The Orlando Sentinel reported.

For years lawmakers have attempted to crack down on these websites, which they have deemed exploitative, and now Florida is taking stringent measures with new legislation coming into effect July 1.

The law targets companies that do not remove photos of innocent people but instead keep the images up permanently, insisting that a fee be paid for a photo's removal.

Under the new law, a person whose arrest photo is posted on one of these websites will be able to request that the mugshot be removed and the company will have to comply within 10 days or be fined $1,000 daily in addition to attorney fees and court costs.

The legislation ultimately allows a person to sue these websites.

In theory, the law would offer protection to the thousands of people who have been arrested and not convicted, but are still plagued by the online presence of their arrest photos.

For most, this can jeopardize future opportunities — not all of us have the luck of Jeremy Meeks, known as "Hot Mugshot Guy" after his police mugshot went viral in 2014.

However, despite legislative efforts, many remain skeptical.

According to The HuffPost, sponsors of mugshot laws in several states admit to not monitoring the law's effects, adding that many mugshot websites are finding ways to work around the legislation.

In Florida, one of the law’s sponsors, Rep. Scott Plakon, R-Longwood, said he believed it would be hard to enforce the measure as many of the companies were based out of the country.

"Admittedly some of these companies, I’m told, are pretty good at hiding themselves," he said, according to The Orlando Sentinel.

Lawyer Mark NeJame, who is called upon daily to assist in removing mug shots online, also has his doubts.

"The civil aspect I don’t think has enough teeth in it," he said. "It’s going to take the fear of criminal prosecution to strike the fear in these predators."

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Mugshot websites are being targeted by a new Florida law that prohibits them from demanding fees in return for removing arrest photos from their platforms.
mugshot, website, florida, law
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2018-02-21
Thursday, 21 June 2018 12:02 PM
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