Matters Allowed to be Expunged

Iowa allows expungement only in certain cases. The case must be alcohol related (only certain cases) or in cases where you were granted a deferred judgment and you successfully completed probation.

In cases resulting in either a dismissal or acquittal, the court may enter an order expunging the record of the case. What this means is that if there are records of available showing that you had a charge against you that was ultimately dismissed, or you were found not guilty, you may ask the court to expunge those records. Expunging the records means that the records will no longer be accessible to the general public. Be mindful that this does not mean that a record of the case will be completely erased. There may be some record remaining that will be available to the court, prosecutors and law enforcement.

You may request the record to be expunged under the following conditions:

  • All court costs and other financial obligations ordered by the court have been paid.
  • A minimum of 180 days has passed since the acquittal or dismissal (the court may waive this requirement if it finds good cause, such as identity theft or mistaken identity).
  • The case was not dismissed due the defendant being found not guilty by reason of insanity.
  • The defendant was not found to be incompetent to stand trial.

If you received a “Deferred Judgment” (not a conviction) and have successfully completed the terms of the deferment, or the conviction is for Public intoxication, Consumption, or Underage possession of alcohol and you have not had any new convictions for at least two years after the conviction, you may also seek to have the record expunged.

If you do not meet the above criteria, you may not have your record removed. There are no exceptions.

Governor Pardon

You may ask Governor of Iowa to pardon the crime. Click Here for the Governor Pardon Application Forms.

Pardons by the Governor are very rare.