Florida lawmakers are attempting to pass new legislation aimed at targeting companies that post mugshots on their websites. These companies take booking information and mug shots from law enforcement agencies and then post the information on their websites. At this time, the websites will take down this information and photos, for a price. One of the more popular sites, mugshots.com, charges a fee of $399 for the first arrest, and $1,799 for five arrests. This becomes problematic when clients hire attorneys to have their record sealed or expunged.
An attorney is paid to complete the sealing or expungement process that can take up to eight months, and then once completed, these companies require an additional fee to have the mugshot and booking information taken down. This could all be coming to an end if this proposed legislation is put into law. Under the proposed law, websites which post booking information could be required to remove such information under a court order; those that do not follow the order could face a $1,000-a-day fine if the order is not followed within 14 days. Proponents of the proposed law say that with its passing, this law could end the extortion practiced by these companies, arguing that these companies abuse their ability to post public information on private sites, only allowing it to be removed after an individual pays the required, excessive fee. This practice would be essentially ended with the passing of the proposed legislation.
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