SPELLMAN LAW, P.C.
Based In West Des Moines, Iowa, Practicing In Central
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Understanding the expungement process in Iowa

On Behalf of | Jan 4, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

Understanding the expungement process in Iowa can help you become more informed about the law. You’ll want to know the ins and outs of expungement eligibility and the records that can be deleted.

What is expungement?

Expungement involves the legal process of destroying or eliminating information and records or files containing criminal charges. However, it’s important to note that these records have not necessarily disappeared. They have just become inaccessible to general law enforcement and the general public.

To establish a criminal history data record, fingerprint cards remain in the automated system, even if a record has been expunged. However, they are fully eliminated along with all criminal history data in juvenile expungement cases.

What records can be expunged?

Adjudication data, custody data, disposition data, and an arrest can be expunged. The custody date and adjudication date for juveniles reaching the age of 21 may also be expunged if the person hasn’t been convicted or pleaded guilty to a felony or serious misdemeanor when they were at least 18 and no older than 21.

What are expungement eligibility requirements?

Only specific crimes in Iowa fall into a category allowing them to be expunged. Adjudications of mental incompetence to stand trial involving an attempt to mentally or physically injure themselves can’t be expunged. Neither can cases of dismissal due to the reason of insanity.

Most juvenile records may be expunged. However, if they were involved in an aggravated misdemeanor or felony when they were between 18 and 21 years old, they can’t be expunged. Cases of discharge from probation are also eligible to be expunged when their judgment was deferred under section 907.3.

Being aware of expungement guidelines can be helpful if you are ever looking to limit information in the official records. You may have better success at obtaining employment and other important aspects of life if your record is expunged.

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Sean P. Spellman
Mary K. “Molly” Spellman