Florida's sealing and expungement statute was written long before the Internet existed. Back then, a Court file was just that - a hard file folder filled with case documents. If a Judge ordered it sealed or expunged, that was the end of it.
Sadly, in modern times, private companies purchase your information from county clerks' offices - as they are public records - and they publish your mugshots (arrest booking photos) on the Internet, as well as other personal details about your case.
When you seal or expunge your record, the Court orders public agencies - such as the Clerk of Courts, State Attorney, arresting agency, county sheriff, and Florida Department of Law Enforcement - to eliminate your record from public view.
Sealing or expunging DOES NOT - I repeat - DOES NOT - apply to private companies, such as those that publish your personal information for profit.
If you wish to have your booking photo/mugshot removed, private companies that do business in the State of Florida (and that includes online business) are forbidden from charging a removal fee.
If your record has been sealed or expunged, you may make a written removal request to any of the companies publishing your mugshot and provide them with a certified copy (digital copy is usually accepted) of your Order to Seal or Order to Expunge.
Eric Matheny is an attorney assisting clients with the sealing and expunging of criminal records in the State of Florida.