New state legislation bans websites from charging money to get mugshots removed.
More than hundred websites post mugshots taken right after an arrest before a person is even found guilty. Some people will pay just about anything to get those photos taken off the websites.
Sophia Andrade was arrested on a domestic violence charge back in 2011. While that charge was thrown out, her mug shot is still online on numerous websites.
“I was under the impression that’s it, your bad day is over — only to find out my mugshot was all over the internet,” Andrade said.
Sophia found out that in order get the mugshot taken off, she would have to pay. The charge varies by hundreds of dollars from site to site.
“I’m not going to pay for something I didn’t do,” Andrade said.
Georgia Rep. Roger Bruce (D-District 61) knew Sophia wasn’t alone. He sponsored legislation to make it illegal for mugshot websites to charge people to remove their photos.
“Some of those sites, the same person may own four or five of them and if you pay him $500 each time — that’s a lot of money. It’s just not right, it’s extortion,” Bruce said.
Sophia says she was arrested in Florida, so the new law doesn’t directly affect her. Her mugshot is still up, but now that this law has passed, she’d like to see it passed nationwide.
“I don’t want to see people going through the same stuff that I went through,” Bruce said.
This law does not pertain to the printed mugshot publications, but Bruce says he’s going after them next.