Lee County

Finding a mugshot in Lee

Lee County grants the public access to records as allowed by Florida Public Records Law. Mugshots and other details in an arrest record are inclusive in the public records. An individual seeking a mugshot of a local suspect or offender in the county can visit the website of the Lee County Sheriff's Office and search the mugshot database using the arrest search engine link on the homepage. There is a quick search button for the mugshots of arrests made in the last 24 hours in the county and another quick search button presenting the mugshots of inmates released in the last 24 hours. The search tool on the site offers the user the option of querying the mugshot database by a number of filters including the name of the subject, date of birth, or booking number. The user can also apply a booking date range or release date range as a filter to the search. These date ranges are limited to five days length. The number of mugshots returnable per search result is limited to a maximum of 2000 records, therefore, the user is advised to apply adequate filters for a successful search result. Mugshots of new arrestees are listed in this online database in real-time. The Sheriff's Office also lists mugshots of recently wanted fugitives on its website to facilitate public reporting on offenders on the run from the law.

NBC 2, the television broadcasting station serving Fort Myers, Naples, and Cape Coral, hosts a mugshot gallery page on its website that provides a quick link to mugshots of arrests made in Lee County. A click on the link on the page redirects the user to the Arrest Search engine on the Lee County Sheriff's Office's homepage. Links to Collier, Charlotte, DeSoto, Hendry, and Glades counties' mugshots are also present on the page. Similarly, the City of Fort Myers Police Department serving Lee County also has a link to the Arrest search engine on the County's Sheriff's Office website. Navigate the "How Do I..." to find the "Search Arrest" link.

Mugshotsleecounty.com is another source of mugshots in the county. It is a private commercial website aggregating only mugshots and crime news from Lee County. The website has a mobile-friendly version and it is linked to a Facebook account that duplicates the mugshots listed on the main site. With over 7000 pages of mugshots dating back to 2014, the mugshot database on the site is frequently updated throughout the day.

The Lee County Clerk of Court also holds arrest records and offer public access through its website via the Court Records Inquiry search tool. Choose the relevant case type on the search engine in combination with any of a number of filters provided results the arrest record of a subject in question. Filters provided include name, case number, citation number, a range of dates, attorney's name, or attorney's bar number. The search result contains charges, arrest details, court appearances, and sentencing of the subject. A requestor can be assured of finding an arrest record from 2004 to date using this search tool. Where the records in question are older than 2004 and not available on the search engine, the requestor is advised to use the Record Request System service.

Lee County Mugshots and Arrest

Lee County has over 700,000 residents and a crime rate that has been falling over the years. Law enforcement agencies in the county make over 20,000 arrests annually, reporting a violent crime rate of 300 and property crime rate of over 1600 in every 100,000 residents. The county has three jail facilities: Downtown jail;a maximum-security facility of 457 beds, Core Facility; a medium/maximum facility with 1,216 beds, and Community Programs Unit (CPU); a minimum-security facility with 336 beds. These facilities are managed by the Lee County Sheriff's Office Corrections Bureau and average a daily inmate population of over 1500.

The criminal justice process in Lee County begins with an arrest probably by the Fort Myers Police, the Florida Highway Patrol, or the Lee County Sheriff. Upon an arrest, the suspect is taken to Downtown Jail which serves as the central intake and booking facility for all people arrested within Lee County. Here the suspect undergoes a booking process that includes taking mugshot before being incarcerated. Suspect charged with bondable offenses can bail out of jail immediately and return to the society till an appointed date in court. While arrestees who cannot make bail or are charged with non-bondable offenses are kept in prison until arraignment to meet a judge is set. This arraignment must be made within 24 hours of the arrest where the formal charges against the suspect will be read, and the judge decides on the need to appoint an attorney with the Public Defender's Office for the suspect and sets the appropriate amount of bail for the case. Consequently, the trial will begin on a date set by the court.

Obtaining Certified Arrest Records

Certified copies of an arrest record can be ordered through the Lee County Sheriff's Office website via the Public Record portal. The portal is accessible anonymously, however, requestors are advised to register on the site for easy tracking and monitoring of their requests. Alternatively, a request can be made in person by visiting the Lee County Sheriff's Office Custodian of Public Records located at 14750 Six Mile Cypress Pkwy., Fort Myers, FL 33912. Requests are also taken by a phone call to Central Records at (239) 477-1350.

Every request should include the name, date of birth, sex, and race of the subject. Each request is charged at $5 and research fees may apply if the request takes over 30 minutes to process. Other fees include $0.15 per copy of a single-sided page, $0.20 for double-sided pages or computer-generated copies. Certified copies are charged at $1 per document and photographs are provided at $2 per each copy. Payments are accepted in cash, business check, or money order. The Lee County Sheriff's Office also provides a dedicated record request service for attorneys and the media on the portal.

Certified arrest records can also be obtained in person from the Clerk's Office at any of its locations or by filling out the Document Request Form and submitting the request to the Records Request System. Requests may also be submitted by a call to (239) 533-5000 or via US Mail. It is $2 to certify each document and $1 to make copies. There is also a $2 fee charged for searching each year records when the applicant does not know the year of the offense.

Sealing and Expunging Mugshots and Arrest Records

Florida law allows for the sealing or expungement of arrest records that do not result in a conviction and permits the sealing or expungement of some records where adjudication was withheld. To be eligible for sealing or expungement, the defendant must not have been convicted of or have pled guilty to any criminal offense, and must not have previously received an expungement or sealing. An individual with an arrest record in Lee County would have to first apply to Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) for a certificate of eligibility prior to petitioning the local court for a sealing or expungement of such record.

The process for obtaining a Certificate of Eligibility includes the applicant being fingerprinted by authorized law enforcement personnel or a criminal justice agency. Afterward, the applicant can obtain certified copies of the final disposition on the case(s) from the Clerk's office at:

2075 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd./1700 Monroe Street
1st Floor
Fort Myers, FL 33901
(239) 533-5000

The office is opened from Monday through Friday, from 7:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. Alternatively, the applicant may file out the Document Request Form and submitting the request to the Records Request System. Consequently, all these documents are mailed to the address listed on the application with a cashier's check or money order for $75 (seventy-five dollars) made payable to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Upon obtaining the Certificate of Eligibility, the applicant can visit the Clerk's Office at any of its locations to fill out additional paperwork for the Judge who will review the case. This paperwork includes the Petition, Affidavit, Notice of Hearing, and an Order to Seal or Expunge, all of which must be filed with the court. The filing fee due when documents are filed is $42 plus copy and certification fees. The total fee is approximately $50 to $60.

Upon the filing of the Order granting the petition to seal or expunge the case record and file, the Clerk will remove all information from the applicant’s judicial record and forward certified copies of the order to the appropriate agencies. A successful sealing will limit disclosure of the record to only the defendant, attorney of record, Florida Bar, the Florida Department of Children and Families, the Florida Board of Education, law enforcement and a few other parties pursuant to statute. An expunged record will be unavailable for distribution to any private or public entity. Agencies that can view a sealed record will be informed only that a record has been expunged.

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