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Record Expungement

Having a criminal record can be an extreme burden and can result in multiple missed opportunities. Many people who were unfortunate enough to retain charges, an arrest or even a conviction on their record have issues finding employment, educational opportunities and maintaining personal relationships. The charge or conviction itself may have been years ago, but thanks to public criminal records it can feel as if you’re still being punished for the crime.

If you or someone you know has been arrested, charged or convicted of a crime, it’s important you find an experienced criminal defense attorney. You may be eligible to have your record expunged, which means you can erase your criminal past completely. Unlike sealing your record, when the court approves expungement it means your criminal history will be physically destroyed. No one will be able to access the record except for very few government agencies.

Don’t wait another moment for a chance to move on from your past. Get in contact with a skilled record expungement attorney to start the process today.

Defense Attorney Explains Record Expungement in Dallas County, IA

Expunging your record could radically change your life and future. Your prior arrest, charges or conviction may be holding you back from employment or educational opportunities that you wish to pursue. In addition, your record won’t be public to landlords and housing agencies, so you won’t have as much difficulty applying for a mortgage or a lease.

With these benefits and more, it’s highly recommended you have your record expunged. Our suggestion is to go with the practiced and skilled criminal defense attorneys at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C.. The criminal defense attorneys at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. have an in-depth understanding of expungement laws, including the new legislation passed in June 2019. We want to give you the confidence you need when applying by presenting all your legal options and explaining these legal processes. 

Get in contact with us now at (515) 279-9700 to set up your first consultation. McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. accepts clients throughout the greater Polk County and Dallas County area including West Des Moines, Altoona, Polk City, Ankeny, Johnston, Adel and Perry.

Overview of Record Expungement in Iowa


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What Does it Mean to Expunge Your Criminal Record?

It’s incredibly stressful to handle a criminal arrest, charge or conviction. What’s even more unfortunate is that the consequences of that arrest or conviction will last long after trial thanks to the public criminal record in Iowa. Once your trial ends, the state of Iowa will add your arrest, charge or conviction onto your public record online for the world to see.

With your record online, it can lead to a whole slew of complications. Missed job opportunities and denials to educational or housing loans simply because of a mistake you made in the past. Thankfully, the state of Iowa offers expungement to those who qualify. If you’re eligible, then the court may expunge your record from the public completely. Only those who are a part of certain governmental and licensing agencies will be able to access your criminal history. This means you can finally move on from your criminal past and assimilate smoothly back into society. 


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Expungement of Non-Guilty Verdicts & Dismissals

The state of Iowa allows people to expunge their record if they received a non-guilty verdict or their case was dismissed. Basically, if you didn’t receive a conviction at all you’re eligible for expungement no matter the crime. According to the Iowa Code 901C.2, you can successfully have your record expunged if you meet the following requirements: 

  • The charges were acquitted or dismissed;
  • Court costs, fees and other financial obligations by the court have been paid;
  • A minimum of 180 days passed since the acquittal or dismissal (there are a few exceptions to this such as victims of identity theft or mistaken identity);
  • The cast wasn’t dismissed because you were found not guilty by reason of insanity
  • You were found compete net to stand trial 

You’re also qualified for expungement if you had your judgement deferred. Deferred judgements are when the judge withholds your guilt until you’ve completed the conditions of your probation. Once you have successfully completed all the terms, your charges will be completely dismissed, and no conviction will remain on your record. After the judge has written a dismissal, you are finally eligible to file a petition for expungement.


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Expunging Certain Alcoholic Offenses

In 2016, the state of Iowa expanded its record expunging laws to incorporate certain alcoholic offenses. The new law allows you to expunge particular alcohol-related crimes such as alcohol consumption in public, simulated public intoxication, possession of alcohol under legal age (PAULA), public intoxication or a violation of an ordinance that arose from the same transaction or occurrence. 

You must wait two years after your conviction to apply for expungement. After the waiting period is over, you can finally petition for expungement. However, to qualify you must have paid all your court or legal fees and not have any criminal convictions since the crime.


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New Misdemeanor Expungement Laws for Iowa in 2019

On July 1, 2019, a new law took effect in Iowa that drastically changed the requirements for expungement. Now misdemeanors can be expunged if they meet the listed guidelines. Not all misdemeanors are eligible for expunction though. The statute also lists various exceptions to the new misdemeanor expungement.

To be able to have your misdemeanor expunged you must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Waited more than 8 years since the conviction;
  • You have no pending criminal charges;
  • You have paid all financial obligations regarding the case;
  • You have not previously received two deferred judgement

You can only receive one expungement in your lifetime under Iowa rule. However, if there were multiple misdemeanor convictions from the same occurrence then you may be able to expunge more than one misdemeanor charge at a time.

Certain misdemeanors simply do not qualify for expungement. These include:

  • Public intoxication;
  • Possession of Alcohol Under Legal Age (PAULA);
  • Dependent adult abuse;
  • OWI;
  • Sexual abuse;
  • Lascivious acts with a. child;
  • Assault with intent to commit sexual abuse;
  • Involuntary manslaughter;
  • Assault while using a dangerous weapon;
  • Domestic abuse;
  • Harassment;
  • Stalking
  • Removal of officer’s communication or control device;
  • Bestiality
  • Obstructing justice;
  • Interference with the judicial process;
  • Misconduct in a public office;
  • Misuse of public records or files;
  • Rioting;
  • Weapon related crimes;
  • Domestic violence cases;
  • Sexually predatory offense; and
  • CDL related crimes

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Additional Resources

Resources Guide for Released Offenders – Visit the official website for the Community Connections Supporting Reentry (CCSR). Access their resource guide to learn more about the different types of health, rehabilitative or re-entry planning resources that are available near you while you’re incarcerated, on probation or recently released.

Iowa’s Expungement Laws – Visit the official website for the Iowa Code to learn more about their legislation regarding expungement. Access the document to learn the requirements, exceptions, how to apply and the new additions to expungement laws. 


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Expungement Defense Lawyer in West Des Moines, IA

If you or someone you know is seeking to expunge their record, it’s imperative you get in contact with McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C.. The defense lawyers at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. have represented and assisted numerous clients in having their records completely expunged so they can move on from their criminal pasts. Learn more today by getting in contact with McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. for legal counsel. 

Get in contact with us now at (515) 279-9700 to set up your first appointment absolutely free. We can sit with you, discuss the qualifications of expungement and see if you are eligible. McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. has offices in West Des Moines, but we practice throughout the greater Dallas County and Polk County, Iowa area.