Posts Tagged ‘Transportation’

Iowa Expungement 101

April 20th, 2022

Under Iowa law, you can expunge, or erase, three types of criminal records:

1. Possession of Alcohol Under the Legal Age (PAULA), which are also referred to as Minor In Possession convictions (i.e., M.I.P.), may be erased in accordance with Iowa Code 123.47, as long as 2 years have actually passed from the time of conviction and you received no new citations (not including simple moving vehicle offenses) during the course of the same two year time span. In most cases, it is high school students and university undergraduates that receive such convictions and need to get them expunged before they send resumes for jobs, summer internships, higher education, or professional degrees. In today’s competitive market, even a minor misdemeanor record might be a serious hindrance.

2. Public Intoxication– which describes drinking alcohol in public, being intoxicated in the open, or merely pretending to be intoxicated in public– could be removed pursuant to Iowa Statute 123.46 as long as 2 years have passed since the judgment of conviction and you received no other criminal convictions (not taking into account minor motor vehicle infractions) throughout that same 2 year time (these are the exact same conditions for removing a PAULA in Iowa ). You may receive a public intoxication citation regardless of age. Consequently, many adults who may have plead guilty to a public intoxication charge while tailgating or at a wedding party, for instance, wisely do what’s necessary to expunge the record before it impacts their employment, credit rating, or even references.

3. Deferred Judgments are a form of judicial leniency that can apply to a broad range of criminal violations that are generally minor in nature. In the usual deferred judgment situation, a charged individual pleads guilty to the citation, but the judge defers, or waits before entering, the guilty plea and orders probation instead. Granted that all the conditions of probation are properly performed, then the record can be sealed off from the public record.

The Iowa Expungement Process: The process for expunging Iowa criminal records is reasonably simple, and can be summarized in three basic steps.

First, is the drafting of a legal document called the petition, or application to the judge, seeking expungement. The petition needs to contain the relevant facts along with the proper Iowa code sections regarding your case.

Second, after the petition or application has been properly drafted, it must be filed with the correct courthouse (each of Iowa’s ninety-nine counties has its own court building) and served to the appropriate prosecuting attorney’s address.

Finally, if you complete the correct filings and satisfy the expungement prerequisites, the judge rules on your petition and will frequently grant the expungement with no a hearing by docketing an order necessitating that the court clerk and necessary state agencies expunge or seal the case history.

You have a right to either handle your own expungement or hire a lawyer. The decision is up to you. Commonly, the more intricate the legal matter, the more you require a lawyer. Fortunately, expungements in Iowa are often relatively simple, in other words, if you meet the requirements for expungement under Iowa code, the judge must grant your petition. All you need to get the expungement is to file the correct legal filings with clerk of court and send them to the correct parties. With the right resources, many people are able to successfully file their own expungements in Iowa at a fraction of the cost of hiring an attorney.