Whether it's a conviction for public intoxication, under-21 possession of alcohol (Possession of Alcohol Under Legal Age or PAULA) or under-18 possession of alcohol (Minor in Possession), you only need to wait two years from the date of the conviction to apply for expungement. It's better to do this sooner rather than later. A prior conviction that is not expunged could be used to enhance the level of, or the sentence for, a subsequent charge. Prospective employers will also be able to view the conviction during a background check.
Does it Matter if I was Convicted Under a City Ordinance or State Law?
No. Law enforcement has the discretion to charge an offender under either state law or a local ordinance, if one applies. Fortunately, Iowa law treats municipal ordinances and state law alike for purposes of expungement.
What Do I Need to Do to Expunge a Conviction From My Record?
The law requires that there are no intervening convictions within two years other than for simple misdemeanor traffic offenses under Iowa Code chapter 321. If you meet that qualification, then an attorney can prepare an application and present it to the court for review. The prosecutor's office will run a detailed search of your adult criminal history to confirm your eligibility. If everything is in order, then the court will order the clerk of court to expunge the conviction from your record.
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