Previously, most Iowa crimes sentenced in adult court were not eligible for expungement. ("Expungement" is when a part of your record gets sealed in a way that means it isn't readily visible to the public anymore.) In order to have an offense expunged from your Iowa record, it had to be one of a very few offenses (for instance, public intoxication or minor in possession) or you had to successfully complete probation following a deferred judgment. In July 2019, though, it become possible to (in some cases) expunge Iowa misdemeanors.
This is a "once per lifetime" option.
Iowa Code 901C.3 has the new rule.
To be eligible for an 901C.3 expungement:
- It must have been more than 8 years since you were convicted.
- You can't have pending criminal charges.
- You can't have already used your two deferred judgments.
- You must have paid all your court costs, fees, fines, restitution, and other financial obligations.
These are some misdemeanor charges that ARE eligible for Iowa misdemeanor expungement:
- Some types of assault.
- Disorderly conduct.
- Possession of marijuana.
- Possession of a controlled substance other than marijuana.
- Interference with Official Acts.
- Simple misdemeanor trespass.
- Receiving Stolen Property.
These are some charges that ARE NOT eligible for Iowa misdemeanor expungement under 901C.3:
- Public intoxication (note: public intox may be expunged under a different section).
- Dependent Adult Abuse.
- Operating Without a Valid Driver's License.
- Driving While Suspended, Denied, Revoked, or Barred.
- Operating While Intoxicated.
- Sex offenses.
- Involuntary Manslaughter.
- Assault while using or displaying a dangerous weapon.
- Domestic Abuse Assault.
- Obstructing Justice.
- Interference With Judicial Process.
- Misconduct in Office.
- Misuse of Public Records and Files.
- Weapons offenses.
- Child endangerment.
As you can tell, it seems like there may be more misdemeanors that can't be expunged than those that can. Nonetheless, this is an improvement for many Iowans because it allows them an opportunity to feel less visible about an offense they may have made when they were younger. This is especially notable in its allowance for expungement of misdemeanor theft and marijuana possession charges, which are behaviors that many defendants "grow out of" over time.
Expungement under this law doesn't happen automatically. It requires applying to the Court. There are rules in the Iowa Code if you feel motivated to engage in some DIY expungement, or your Iowa criminal defense attorney can help you prepare the application.
Defense lawyers for misdemeanor expungement help in Des Moines, Polk County, Ankeny, Ames, Johnston, West Des Moines, Waukee, Saylorville, Bondurant, Altoona, Clive, Grimes, Pleasant Hill, Story County, Boone County, Marshall County, Dallas County, Jasper County, Madison County, Warren County, Marion County, Wapello County, Davis County, Ottumwa, Bloomfield, Iowa City, Council Bluffs, and the rest of Iowa.
This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be relied on as legal advice. Consult with a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction. Reading this site doesn’t create an attorney-client relationship. If you want to talk to us about your need to expunge Iowa misdemeanors, please contact us at (515) 491 6128 and we’ll set up a time to talk.