The repercussions a drunk driving arrest can go far beyond fines and jail time. Your reputation is also at stake, even if the prosecution fails to prove its claims. In fact, under Florida law, even a DUI charge that was dismissed is still accessible to the public and remains on your record. That is, unless you take legal steps to have your arrest record sealed or expunged.
A Florida woman knows all-too-well how far the repercussions of a DUI arrest can go. If you have used the Internet in the last four years, there is a good chance you saw this young woman's mug shot. Without her permission, a background check company used the 28-year-old's booking photo in widespread, online advertising.
The mug shot of the mother of four, who was arrested for DUI back in 2010, has been disseminated by countless websites. Now she wants it all to stop. In Hillsborough County, she filed a lawsuit against InstantCheckmate.com, claiming that the company's use of her mug shot constitutes an invasion of privacy that has resulted in undue distraction and mental anguish.
She wants to end the use of her booking photo, as well as receive compensation for damages.
A news report doesn't indicate whether or not the woman has sought to have her arrest record expunged or sealed, though that is certainly an option under Florida law. In fact, an attorney can even start the process of expunging or sealing an arrest record after a brief phone interview with a former arrestee.
In any case, a criminal record can potentially affect a person's housing, employment and loan opportunities, so sealing or expunging such a record may be in your best interests now and in the future.
Source: WESH.com, "Woman files suit against website for use of 'sexy' mugshot," Feb. 28, 2014