Expunging Minor In Possession of Alcohol (PAULA)

A new Iowa law will provide for the expungement of Minor in Possession of Alcohol (PAULA) conviction.

Effective July 1, 2010, Iowa Code section 123.47 will be amended to include an addition subsection that will require courts to expunge a prior conviction for Minor in Possession of Alcohol, commonly known as PAULA (possession of alcohol under legal age) after two years from the conviction if the person has not been convicted of any other offenses. This is similar to the provision that allows public intoxication convictions to be expunged. The new law REQUIRES the court to expunge the conviction if all of the following are shown:

1. Two years have expired since the conviction; and
2. The convicted person demonstrates that they have had no other criminal convictions, other than traffic violations or simple misdemeanor violations of chapter 321 (traffic and related offenses), during that two year period.

Once those two requirements are met, the court is required to expunge the conviction upon receiving the proper petition from the convicted person. When expunging the conviction, the Court is enters an order to that effect and the clerk of court is required to completely remove the conviction from the individuals criminal history data files as well as the files maintained by the department of public safety. That means it will not appear anywhere on a criminal background check and it cannot serve as a prior offense if the individual is charged with a similar offense in the future. The slate truly is wiped clean.

Many people do not get through their high school or college years without being charged with PAULA at some point or another. This new law is a wonderful opportunity for individuals who have made mistakes in the past due to their youth, prevent youthful indiscretions from impacting their future career opportunities.

If you or someone you know has a Minor in Possession of Alcohol (PAULA) conviction muddying up their record feel free to contact Attorney, Scott Michels, of GRL Law to start the process of wiping your slate clean. (515) 226-0500 or 1-877-GRL-LAWS