Want your mug shot less searchable? A bill sitting on Gov. DeSantis’ desk has you covered
The new law takes effect July 1. Image via Adobe.

Mugshot of criminal
If signed companies would be forced to remove mugshots from their website if asked by the person in the picture.

A bill to crackdown on companies that publish mug shots is sitting on Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk.

DeSantis has until July 3 to sign the bill, though it would take effect July 1.

If signed, the new law (SB 1046) would require mug shot publishers to remove booking photos if requested by the person featured in the image. The bill creates noncompliance penalties. If the publisher doesn’t remove the photo within 10 days of written notice they would face a daily $1,000 penalty.

A published mug shot can be an obstacle to employment, according to a staff analysis that notes 77% of employers Google their job applicant’s name during the hiring process.

The new law, proponents contend, would give thousands of Floridians a second chance.

Rep. Jason Fischer, a Duval Republican, sponsored the legislation in the House. Fischer said more than 700,000 mug shots of Floridians are published a year.

The bill comes after publishers found a loophole to a law enacted in 2017, which prohibited mug shot publishers from demanding money to remove the mug shot.

Fischer said publishers modified their business model by deploying bots to automatically gather and publish mug shots as a way to generate profitable traffic to the website.

“It can tarnish someone’s impression of the people, even if they’ve been acquitted or they’ve not been charged,” Fischer said during the bill’s second reading on the House floor.

The Senate and House proposal are the fruits of a Florida State University law student who worked with sponsors including Republican Sen. Aaron Bean to challenge the state’s mugshot ecosystem.

Blake Mathesie, a second-year law student, told Florida Politics in March that he met with lawmakers in 2020 to suggest the legislation.

“The publication of these mug shots not only violates due process, but it hurts the personal and professional prospects of those affected,” Mathesie said. “A mug shot is taken at the lowest point in someone’s life.”

Haley Brown

Haley Brown covers state government for FloridaPolitics.com. Previously, Haley covered the West Virginia Legislature and anchored weekend newscasts for WVVA in Bluefield, W.Va. Haley is a Florida native and a graduate of the University of Florida. You can reach her at [email protected].


  • Betsy Huggins

    June 19, 2021 at 6:47 pm

    Great idea and about time,I have called demanding my autistic son’s mugshots be taken down, especially since the charges were pure lies and fraud.This is a good bill because this is something I have called several times saying this is not even just, fraud charges but defamation of character.A handicapped person with fake charges.

  • monday

    June 24, 2021 at 3:32 am

    well i am not sure what this bill is saying to the people.
    the bill allows for certain images just not sure if it a rewrite of ricks bill that allows them to stalk your name.
    I think they can still do business giving your info on the web.
    the bill does not say what arrest pictures can remain it just says certain like dropped or dismissed. and now marketing purpose.
    these mugshot people are felons just the same.(pot calling the kettle black)

  • monday

    June 24, 2021 at 4:48 am

    public records were for tax payers to pay government for keeping records. I don’t recall the freedom of info was for armatures to publish sell and exploit the citizen.
    remember the privacy concerns vote a good candidate as for transparency meaning shear, feeble, breakable idk.

  • monday

    June 24, 2021 at 5:52 am

    the joke is how many companies fight for the dirty money with the same old info. to a point of stepping all over themselves. and the funniest part America has to pay for half backwards security. your gov says nothing is safe anymore we are to busy selling you you know keeping safe.
    question of the day who in their right sound mind sells you for cash. answer trafficker’s

  • monday morning news

    June 30, 2021 at 9:48 am

    personally i could name 4 sicko mugshot brands and i here sickos. they all need antipsychotic meds. look at site jabber about their forever stalk you. sicko people. Kyle Prall Creige Robert Wiggens and organized foul up friends 2 bits. and the ugly fact one. I am just not so surprised all the public records like reputation my life ( feds just sue them) white pages intelius truthy finders checkmate (like he really knows chess) jump in.. P.s I just dont know why their is war just on Thomas keesee and company. I see why cancel culture is a thing.

Comments are closed.


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