New Iowa Expungement Law

New Iowa Expungement law goes into effect July 1, 2019; as part of Senate File 589.

https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ga=88&ba=SF589

Division I- Expungements:

Section 1 allows persons who have been convicted of public intoxication, simulated public intoxication or public consumption under either the state law or a local ordinance, to have the conviction expunged two years after conviction if the person has no other criminal convictions, other than traffic violations in the two-year period.

Section 2 allows persons who have been convicted of misdemeanor offenses prior to, on, or after July 1, 2019 to apply in the county where the conviction occurred to have the record of that conviction expunged. The conviction will be expunged as a matter of law if:

  • 8 or more years have passed since the date of the conviction
  • There are no pending criminal charges against the defendant
  • All court costs, fees, fines and restitution have been paid

The following misdemeanors shall not be expunged:

  • Public intoxication or underage possession (although they can be expunged pursuant to other statutes)
  • Dependent adult abuse
  • Any driving without a license offense
  • OWIs
  • Any sex offense that is a registerable offense
  • Involuntary manslaughter
  • Assault using or displaying a dangerous weapon
  • Any domestic abuse assault
  • Harassment
  • Stalking
  • Removal of an officer’s communication device
  • Trespass with intent to commit a hate crime
  • Bestiality
  • Any obstruction of justice
  • Interference with judicial process
  • Misconduct in office
  • Misuse of public records and files
  • Rioting
  • Any weapons offense
  • Any protection of family crimes such as bigamy or child endangerment
  • Any misdemeanor violations of the obscenity chapter, for example dissemination of obscene material to a minor
  • Any sexually predatory offenses
  • Certain offenses comparable to federal motor carrier violations
  • Convictions under prior law comparable to any of those listed above

The application shall be denied if:

  • The defendant is the subject of a protective order or a no-contact order
  • The defendant has subsequently been convicted of or granted a deferred judgment for any criminal offense other than a traffic offense under Chapter 321 or a similar local ordinance
  • The defendant has previously been granted two deferred judgments.

A defendant can only apply for one expungement in a lifetime (pursuant to this statute). However, an application may request expungement of more than one misdemeanor offense if the offenses arose from the same occurrence. The expunged record is confidential but shall be made available upon court order. The Department of Public Safety must remove the record of conviction from its criminal history data files.

DIVISION I

EXPUNGEMENTS

Section 1. Section 123.46, subsection 6, Code 2019, is amended to read as follows:

6. Upon the expiration of two years following conviction for a violation of this section or of a similar local ordinance, a person may petition the court to expunge the conviction, and if the person has had no other criminal convictions, other than local traffic violations or simple misdemeanor violations of chapter 321 during the two-year period, the conviction shall be expunged as a matter of law. The court shall enter an order that the record of the conviction be expunged by the clerk of the district court. Notwithstanding section 692.2, after receipt of notice from the clerk of the district court that a record of conviction has been expunged, the record of conviction shall be removed from the criminal history data files maintained by the department of public safety if such a record was maintained in the criminal history data files.

Sec. 2. NEW SECTION. 901C.3 Misdemeanor ~ expungement.

1. Upon application of a defendant convicted of a misdemeanor offense in the county where the conviction occurred, the court shall enter an order expunging the record of such a criminal case, as a matter of law, if the defendant has proven all of the following:

a. More than eight years have passed since the date of the conviction.

b. The defendant has no pending criminal charges.

c. The defendant has not previously been granted two deferred judgments.

d. The defendant has paid all court costs, fees, fines, restitution, and any other financial obligations ordered by the court or assessed by the clerk of the district court.

2. The following misdemeanors shall not be expunged:

a. A conviction under section 123.46. [Note: this is because 123.46 can be expunged via another statute]

b. A simple misdemeanor conviction under section 123.47, subsection 3, or similar local ordinance [Note: this is because 123.46 can be expunged via another statute]

c. A conviction for dependent adult abuse under section 235B.20.

d. A conviction under section 321.218, 321A.32, or 321J.21 .

e. A conviction under section 321J.2.

f. A conviction for a sex offense as defined in section 692A.101.

g. A conviction for involuntary manslaughter under section 707 . 5 .

h. A conviction for assault under section 708.2, subsection 3.

i. A conviction under section 708.2A.

j. A conviction for harassment under section 708.7.

k. A conviction for stalking under section 708.11.

1. A conviction for removal of an officer’s communication or control device under section 708.12.m. A conviction for trespass under section 716.8, subsection 3 or 4.

n. A conviction under chapter 717C.

o. A conviction under chapter 719.

p. A conviction under chapter 720.

q. A conviction under section 721.2.

r. A conviction under section 721.10.

s. A conviction under section 723.1.

t. A conviction under chapter 724.

u. A conviction under chapter 726.

v. A conviction under chapter 728.

w. A conviction under chapter 901A.

x. A conviction for a comparable offense listed in 49 C. F .R.§383.5l(b) (table 1) or 49 C.F.R. §383.5l(e) (table 4) .

y. A conviction under prior law of an offense comparable to an offense enumerated in this subsection.

3. A person shall be granted an expungement of a record under this section one time in the person’s lifetime. However, the one application may request the expungement of records relating to more than one misdemeanor offense if the misdemeanor offenses arose from the same transaction or occurrence, and the application contains the misdemeanor offenses to be expunged.

4. The expunged record under this section is a confidential record exempt from public access under section 22.7 but shall be made available by the clerk of the district court upon court order.

5. Notwithstanding section 692.2, after receipt of notice from the clerk of the district court that a record of conviction has been expunged under subsection 1, the record of conviction shall be removed from the criminal history data files maintained by the department of public safety if such a record was maintained in the criminal history data files.

6. The supreme court may prescribe rules governing the procedures applicable to the expungement of a criminal case under this section.

7. This section applies to a misdemeanor conviction that occurred prior to, on, or after July 1, 2019.

There are different avenues to expungement for convictions in addition to this new law. Learn more about all of Iowa’s expungement laws. 

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