Expunging Convictions in Iowa

The question often comes up: If I pled guilty to a charge, does it ever come off of my criminal record?  In Iowa, the answer is sometimes.  A charge can come off or become expunged off of your record in a two main ways:

  1. A deferred judgment.  If you pled guilty, received a deferred judgment, paid your civil penalty, and successfully completed probation a charge can come off your record.
  2. Petition for Expungement. You or an attorney applies to the court to have court records of the charge removed from public access. 

Only TWO offenses in Iowa qualify for expungement: Possession of Alcohol Under Legal Age (commonly called an MIP or PAULA) and Public Intoxication. 

If you received either of these charges, you may be eligible to have the charge expunged off your record.  In order to have the conviction expunged, the individual must go at least two years after the conviction without being convicted of anything other than simple traffic offenses. The individual must then petition the court to expunge the conviction, and if the individual qualifies, the judge is required by law to issue the order granting the expungement.

What about dismissed charges or charges that a person was found not guilty of? How does a person get rid of those court records? Click here to learn more about expunging dismissed charges and not guilty court records.