New Expungement Law

A new expungement law took effect in Iowa on July 1, 2019. This law is in addition to existing expungement laws for PAULA, public intoxication, dismissed charges, and successful completion of deferred judgment probation. An expungement in Iowa does not erase your criminal history but does seal the court file. It may still be visible to employers and grad schools, and the law does not prohibit third parties from publishing criminal records.

The requirements for the new law are as follows:

  1. Applies to misdemeanors only and there are many exceptions (see below).
  2. More than 8 years have passed since conviction
  3. Defendant has no pending criminal charges
  4. Defendant has paid all financial obligations in the case
  5. Defendant has not previously received two deferred judgments
  6. A defendant is only allowed one expungement under this new rule in their lifetime, but one request can cover multiple convictions if they arose from the same transaction or occurrence.

If you have questions about the new law, and are a University of Iowa student, please call the office to schedule a time to speak to an attorney.


Misdemeanor convictions not eligible for expungement pursuant to Iowa Code §901C.3:

  1. A conviction under §123.46 – Public Intoxication (still eligible under §123.46(6))
  2. A conviction under §123.47 or similar ordinance - Possession of Alcohol Under Legal Age (still eligible under §123.47(8))
  3. A conviction for dependent adult abuse under section 235B.20.
  4. A conviction under section 321.218, 321A.32, or 321J.21. (certain drivers license related offenses)
  5. A conviction under section 321J.2. (OWI)
  6. A conviction for a sex offense as defined in section 692A.101.
  7. A conviction for involuntary manslaughter under section 707.5.
  8. A conviction for assault under section 708.2, subsection 3. (assault while using or displaying a dangerous weapon).
  9. A conviction under section 708.2A. (domestic abuse)
  10. A conviction for harassment under section 708.7.
  11. A conviction for stalking under section 708.11.
  12. A conviction for removal of an officer's communication or control device under section 708.12.
  13. A conviction for trespass under section 716.8, subsection 3 or 4. (with intent to commit a hate crime)
  14. A conviction under chapter 717C. (bestiality)
  15. A conviction under chapter 719. (obstructing justice including interference with official acts and providing false identification information)
  16. A conviction under chapter 720. (interference with judicial process including perjury and malicious prosecution)
  17. A conviction under section 721.2. (misconduct in [public] office]
  18. A conviction under section 721.10. (misuse of public records or files)
  19. A conviction under section 723.1. (riot)
  20. A conviction under chapter 724. (weapons related offenses)
  21. A conviction under chapter 726. (related to the protection of family and dependents including child endangerment)
  22. A conviction under chapter 728. (obscenity related offenses)
  23. A conviction under chapter 901A. (sexually predatory offense)
  24. A conviction for a comparable offense listed 49 C.F.R. §383.5l(b) (table 1) or 49 C.F.R. §383.5l(e) (table 4). (certain CDL related offenses)
  25. A conviction under prior law of an offense comparable to an offense enumerated in this subsection.