Miami-dade County

Finding a mugshot in Miami-Dade

Subject to Florida Public Records law chapter 119, Miami-Dade County's records are made available to the public. Arrest records (which include mugshots of defendants) are parts of these public records. Searching for a mugshot of a recent arrest or inmate in-custody is as simple as conducting a search on the website of Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation Department. An inmate search on this site requires entering their last name followed by their first initial or first name. The search result displays a list of individuals in custody by name, date of birth, race, sex, location, charges, bond amount, jail number, booking date, booking time and their mugshot. Alternatively, the requestor may choose to visit the headquarters of the Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation department at Dr. Martin Luther King Office Plaza, 2525 NW 62nd St., Miami, FL 33147 ((786) 263-7000). The Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation Department is made up of five correctional facilities holding on the average over 5,600 inmates, who are either awaiting trial or are serving sentences of less than a year.

Similarly, the local daily newspaper Sun-Sentinel also publishes recent booking photographs of people arrested in Miami-Dade as well as Broward and Palm Beach counties on its online portal. Sun-Sentinel online mugshot page provides a current archive of booking photographs taken in the county in the last 90 days. These mugshots along with accompanying arrest details are sourced from Miami-Dade County Police Department, and are updated daily.

For historical records and in search of convicted criminals with over one-year prison sentence, the Miami-Dade Courts Online System maintained by the Clerk of the Courts for the county provide all court records on its Criminal Justice Online System page. Users are required to register on the site and log in to access the records otherwise face the captcha challenge-response test to access records as a guest user. The user is required to know details like the defendant’s bio-data, jail number, citation/police number or hearing date. Aside criminal offenses (felonies and misdemeanors), the site also archive records of civil infractions and municipal ordinances; and updated from July 2004 up to date.

When searching for a sex offender’s mugshot the County hosts a distinct search tool for sex offenders and predators on its website. This tool provides the details of registered sexual offenders and predators who live nearby. Information on this page is also linked to the Sex Offender/Predator Information page of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). However, there is a separate resource page hosting mugshots of fugitive sexual predators and offenders who are wanted by local Crime Stoppers. A quick link to this page with the most recent mugshots is present at the Miami-Dade County Police home page.

Miami-Dade County Mugshots and Arrest

With over 2.7 million residents Miami-Dade is Florida’s largest county and the seventh largest in the US. Violent crimes in the county are at 527.1 crimes for every 100,000 residents, a rate that is worse than the averages for both the state (417.7) and national (386.3). In the past few years, the average annual reported cases of violent crime are over 6,000 while the figure is over 34,000 for non-violent crimes. The criminal justice process in Miami-Dade County begins with an arrest. An arrest in the county would be made by the Miami Police Department, the Florida Highway Patrol, or the Miami-Dade sheriff. Upon this arrest, the suspect is brought for booking at one of Miami-Dade Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation jail facilities.

Consequent upon the arrest the law enforcement officer creates an arrest record and writes up a police report detailing the incident; In Miami-Dade, this process of booking an arrest includes collecting the suspect's biographical information, checking the suspect arrest history, taking fingerprints and mugshots. After the booking, the suspect either gets released on self-recognition or by posting a bond if it is a bondable charge. A bond is a guarantee that the defendant will appear for all court appearances and abide by all non-financial conditions. The suspect is kept in custody if the offense is a non-bondable one; domestic violence charge is an example of non-bondage offense in the County (Florida Statute 741.2901(3)). The arrest record is then forwarded to the Miami-Dade Office of the State Attorney to review and decide what formal charges, if any, to file.

For an accused in Miami-Dade County, the first appearance in court occurs within 24 hours of an arrest where the judge establishes whether the charges are reasonable and if a bond should be set (and at what amount). The judge will also determine the conditions for a release and the probable appointment of a defense attorney where the suspect cannot afford one. After reviewing the law enforcement arrest reports, the State Attorney files a formal charge within 21days consequent upon the date of arrest and an arraignment is made for the accused to make an appropriate peal. The trial and sentencing follow.

The Miami-Dade County State Attorney offers Pre-Trial Diversion (PTD) as an alternative to prosecution for an accused person without prior arrest for a non-violent crime. After the completion of the program without a record of any arrest during the period the State Attorney's office will drop the charges on the case. Eligible accused persons are expected to register for the program online or visit the office in person at the MDPD in Miami or any of other locations.

Miami-Dade Police Department
Diversion and Community Service Unit
9105 NW 25th St.
Miami, FL 33172
Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
dcsu@mdpd.com

All bond hearings (first appearance) and jail arraignments are held at:

Richard E. Gerstein Justice Building
1351 NW 12 Street
Courtroom 5-5

For only misdemeanor domestic violence cases, bond hearings are heard at:

Lawson E. Thomas Courthouse Center
175 NW 1 Avenue
Courtroom 2A
at 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday

On weekends and holidays, all bond hearings are held at the Richard E. Gerstein location. To ascertain the particular location and time of a bond hearing, a call can be made to the State Attorney's Case Screening Office at (305) 547-0200.

Miami-Dade County treats Juvenile arrest process differently unless the accused has committed a very serious crime that requires being tried as an adult. Where the charge is a misdemeanor or non-violent felony, the juvenile may be released immediately into the custody of the parents or legal guardian. Miami-Dade County also offers specific diversion programs for eligible juveniles undergoing trial which include juvenile arbitration, juvenile alternative services program (JASP), or a treatment plan (Walker plan). Charges are dismissed upon successful completion.

Obtaining Certified Arrest Records

While there are no restrictions to viewing and downloading information along with mugshots on the sites mentioned above, getting a certified copy of such arrest records is charged at a fee. Information accessed via these electronic means is not categorized as the official record of the Clerk of the Courts. Requestors in need of accurate data/information are instructed to consult the Clerk's Office for certified copies. Under Florida Public Records law, the user does not have to give a name or explain the reason for requesting a public record.

When requesting certified copies for civil cases, the requestor required to provide the following information: case number, year of case, names of parties involved and include a self-addressed stamped envelope. Request can be made online or in person by visiting:

Miami-Dade County Courthouse
73 W. Flagler Street, Suite 133
Miami, FL 33130

or any of the District Court Offices. These certified copies can also be ordered by mail:

Dade County Clerk's Office
Attn: Correspondence Dept.
73 W. Flagler Street, Suite 137
Miami, FL 33130

Mailing fee is charged at $1 per page and each certified document attracts a $2 charge. An additional charge of $2 is payable as a search fee if the requestor does not know the year/case number for every year searched per request.

A similar process applies to the request for a certified arrest history check albeit different avenues. A Criminal History Check (CHIS letter) can be requested at the Miami-Dade County Criminal Justice Online System (select Defendant tab). By mail, the requestor can send a request to the following addresses as appropriate:

Felonies:
Miami-Dade County - Criminal Division
Richard E. Gerstein Justice Building
1351 NW 12th St., Suite 9000
Miami, FL 33125

Misdemeanors:
Miami-Dade County - Criminal Division
Richard E. Gerstein Justice Building
1351 NW 12th St., Suite 8100
Miami, FL 33125

Traffic:
Miami-Dade County - Criminal Division
Richard E. Gerstein Justice Building
1351 NW 12th St., Suite 124
Miami, FL 33125

Such a request will be accompanied by the defendant's name, case number. case year, date of birth and a self-addressed stamped envelope. Mailing fee is charged at $7 per certified copy with an additional $2 search fee for every year searched if the requestor does not know the year/case number. For felony cases, the Clerk of the Courts' office also provides scanned case files on CD disc for a fee of $42. It is also possible to make the request in person by performing an online history check using the computers at:

Miami-Dade County - Criminal Division
Richard E. Gerstein Justice Building
1351 NW 12th St., Suite 9000
Miami, FL 33125

Payments are accepted in cash (only in person), money order payable to Clerk of Courts, electronic transfer via debit/credit cards or personal check. The Miami-Dade Police Department also provides criminal background check service that comes with a Police Clearance Letter on request. This Police Clearance Letter can be requested for reasons including citizenship/immigration, employment, adoption, education/school, investigation, legal/lawyer/court, and personal. The letter details the subject's criminal history information and costs only $5.

Sealing and Expunging Mugshots and Arrest Records

Under Florida Statutes (Section 943.045), a defendant may apply to have an arrest or a mugshot barred from public disclosure or access. Similarly, an extension of the Statute (Section 943.045(16)) offers condition for expunction of such records. Expunction is court-ordered physical destruction of a record by any criminal justice agency in possession of such information. These laws define the eligibility requirement for such defendants which include receiving deferred adjudication, being found innocent at trial, or having charges dropped before trial. In Miami-Dade County, either of these processes requires court approval. The defendant is also mandated to pay all outstanding fines, fees, and court costs in full prior to such proceedings. A certified copy of the final disposition (which cost $7) must be obtained from the Criminal Court Clerk’s Office located at 1351 Northwest 12 Street, 8th Floor. The other necessary documents including the application form, instructions on how to complete and submit the form and a fingerprint form are downloadable from the FDLE website.

The Office of the State Attorney in Miami-Dade offers an assistance program in sealing or expunging a criminal record. The office assists with processing the application for submission to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). Eligibility is limited to a single arrest record that did not result in a conviction. The Community Outreach Division (COD) also organizes on a regular basis “Second Chance One-Stop” Sealing and Expungement Events. These events are 'One-Stop' resolution programs bringing together all the necessary parties to help minimize the cost and effort in the long process of sealing or expunging an arrest record. Only state criminal incidents that occurred in Miami-Dade County are reviewed at this program (all Federal cases are excluded). Where a suspect does not qualify for this privilege, the Office advised approaching the American Civil Liberties Union and the Parole Commission in restoring one's civil rights. An interested person attending any of the Sealing and Expungement Events are advised to come along with a valid picture ID such as a driver's license, passport, or resident alien card and $75 handling fee that must be mailed with the application as required by FDLE. For information on the next event and further requirements, the requestor can call the Office of the State Attorney extension at (305) 547-0724.

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