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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

MUGSHOT MUGGINGS


Bobby Reiff sent out this email. It's well worth a read:

Dear Friends:

I hope this letter finds you and your family well. Previously, I have written to many of my friends and clients about abusive websites with names such as jailbase.combustedmugshots.comflorida.arrests.orgmugshots.comwhosarrested.com,mugme.orgarre.st/?Mugshots, and mugshotsonline.com which have popped up (some would say crawled out from under a rock) to shame those who have been arrested, even if the arrest was improper, illegal or incorrect. Particularly disturbing about these websites is that they were “data mining” information that is old and often incorrect. I had written about a client that had been arrested in 2008 but exonerated shortly thereafter. When he “Googled” his name (something he would do every few months), his old arrest suddenly appeared along with a not-too-flattering booking photo. Another client called me after she learned that she lost a job she had been hired to perform when the prospective client saw her booking photograph, even though the charges had been subsequently dismissed.

Back when I first wrote my letter of warning about these websites, I suggested that those who have been previously arrested (and even those who have not been arrested) should take the time to “Google” their name every month to ensure that a booking photograph or other unflattering information did not appear. I suggested that you take special care to click on the “images” section of Google to ensure that the picture does not appear in that section as well. While we routinely do this at the office upon being retained, since these photographs are now appearing long after the case has closed, vigilance in protecting your name and image should be carried on by you. For more information on this issue, you may want to read these articles:http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/06/business/mugged-by-a-mug-shot-online.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0&hp andhttp://gigaom.com/2013/10/07/google-goes-after-mug-shot-sites/.

I am now writing again on this topic because there are two pending bills to prevent websites from charging to remove mugshot photographs from their sites. They are listed below:

Senate bill 298

House bill 265

Personally, I believe that these bills do not go far enough. In fact, in anticipation of such legislation, these website owners are now refusing to remove such photographs themselves, and instead, are now referring you to a “Law Firm” that is likely paying money back to the website owners for the business referral in the guise of advertising fees or membership dues.

Now is the time to call your local legislative representative and ask them to vote “yes” on these bills! I suggest that you recommend that they add a provision to the laws that these websites shall be precluded from receiving any revenue, from any source, for the removal of such entries, including for advertising by such law firms or record removal entities.

Thank you for your time and sorry for the interruption to your day. Please feel free to call me at the office if you have any questions about this or any other related issue.

Sincerely,

Bobby Reiff
Robert S. Reiff, Esquire | Managing Attorney | Law Offices of Robert S. Reiff, P.A.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

DON RUSSO, a great Miami trial lawyer and former star UM Football player died -- too young --

Anonymous said...

He was a champ.