In Iowa, the courts allow for an expungement of criminal records for a limited number of circumstances. If an expungement is granted, the criminal record will be out of the public domain. The process for expungement includes first determining if a charge is eligible for expungement, filing a Petition for Expungement with any necessary documentation, and then receiving a Court Order authorizing the expungement.
An individual may request an expungement in the following instances: (1) if the charges resulted in an acquittal; (2) if the charges were dismissed; (3) if the individual received a deferred judgment which resulted in the successful completion of probation; and (4) if the charges were for certain alcohol-related offenses including public intoxication, consumption, or underage possession of alcohol.
To qualify under No. 3, you must receive a deferred judgment at the time when you would have received a conviction. A Deferred Judgment results in an individual being placed on a period of probation instead of the court imposing a sentence.
If your charge falls under No. 4, and you are requesting that your alcohol-related offense be expunged, you must wait for a period of two years. Within those two years, you must have no further convictions. Minor traffic offenses do not count as convictions for this two year requirement.
To determine if a charge is eligible for expungement, it is best to contact an attorney. If the charge is not available for expungement, an individual can instead request and file an Application for Executive Clemency.
Finally, I note that those currently prohibited from possessing a firearm in Iowa can seek a restoration of their gun rights. My firm handles such cases and I find it particularly rewarding to help clients seek the restoration of their right to have a gun for self defense, hunting, and other lawful purposes.