A new law went into effect on July 1, 2019 allowing for the removal of certain misdemeanor convictions that occurred in Iowa from an individual’s criminal record. In many cases this will mean minor drug and theft convictions, among other things, can now be permanently expunged.

Previously, the only convictions allowed to be expunged were public intoxication and minor in possession. These offenses can still be expunged two years after conviction if the defendant has no additional violations between the date of conviction and the application for expungement.

The following criteria must be met to apply for expungement of a misdemeanor conviction under the new law:

1. There must be at least 8 years since the date of the conviction.

2. The applicant can not have any pending criminal charges.

3. The applicant may not have been granted more than one previous deferred judgment.

4. All costs associated with the charge must have been paid.

There is one catch. An individual can only be granted an expungement under this section once in a lifetime.  However, all eligible misdemeanor charges from the same occurrence may be included in the application.

There are still many types of misdemeanors that cannot be expunged. Examples of convictions that are not eligible for expungement are domestic abuse, drunk driving, sex abuse, assault when a weapon was used, harassment, and stalking. The list of exclusions is long. If you’re uncertain if your conviction qualifies, we would be happy to discuss it with you.

When you’re ready to apply for expungement of convictions that occurred anywhere in Iowa, Rater Law Office is here to help.