Websites could be forced to delete mug shots

Published On: Feb 13 2013 01:12:12 PM EST
Juan Betanco

Juan Betanco, 30, of Polk County, arrested for a traffic violation.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -

A Florida legislator wants websites to delete arrest photos if the person is later found not guilty or if the charges are dropped.

Rep. Carl Zimmerman, D-Palm Harbor, this week filed the bill that requires all websites to delete arrest photos -- or mug shots as they are called -- within 15 days of being notified that the charges did not result in a conviction.

The bill (HB 677) would subject the website operator to fines and even a defamation lawsuit if they did not comply with the request. The website could not charge anything to remove the photo.

Zimmerman, who teaches broadcast journalism to high school students, said people have the right to publish information, but he said they should take it down once it is proven false.

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