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Can I Get My Records Sealed?

Jay W. Mez, Attorney At Law Jan. 16, 2024

As an attorney practicing in the beautiful state of Iowa, I often find myself answering a plethora of questions from clients and potential clients. One question that frequently comes up is, "Can I get my records sealed?" To answer this query, I've decided to delve into the topic to provide valuable information for anyone interested in sealing their records in Iowa. 


Firstly, I'd like to discuss who's eligible for record sealing in Iowa. Not all criminal records can be sealed, and the eligibility largely depends on the nature of your conviction. For instance, if you were charged with a simple misdemeanor or a serious misdemeanor and have completed your sentence, you might be eligible to have your record sealed after a certain period, provided you meet other requirements as well. 

However, it's crucial to note that some convictions, such as sexual offenses, domestic abuse, and OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) offenses, can never be sealed. It's always best to consult with an attorney to understand your eligibility fully. 

Consequences of Not Sealing Your Record

You might wonder, "Why should I go through the trouble of sealing my record?" Well, not sealing your record can have long-lasting consequences. A criminal record can affect your life in many ways, from employment opportunities, housing applications, to even your ability to qualify for certain loans or licenses. 

By not sealing your record, you're essentially allowing these past mistakes to follow you around, potentially hindering your future prospects. And trust me, it's not a situation you want to find yourself in. Your criminal record can be accessed by prospective employers, landlords, and even the general public. It can result in missed job opportunities, being denied housing or rental applications, and could limit your ability to secure loans or obtain professional licenses. 

Furthermore, having an unsealed record may subject you to constant scrutiny and judgment from others. It can be a constant reminder of your past mistakes, making it difficult to move forward and rebuild your life. By taking the necessary steps to seal your record, you are creating a fresh start for yourself, allowing you to focus on your personal growth and future endeavors without the burden of your past overshadowing your every move. 

Remember, sealing your record is not just about closing a chapter in your life, but about opening doors to new opportunities and a brighter future. Don't let the consequences of an unsealed record hold you back. Take control of your narrative and pave the way for a successful and fulfilling life. 

Starting the Process

To start the process of record sealing in Iowa, there are a few key steps to follow. First and foremost, you must wait for a specific period of time after your conviction before you can apply to have your record sealed. The length of this waiting period can vary depending on the severity of your charge. 

Once the waiting period is over, the next step is to file an application with the court. This application will require various forms and documents to be submitted, including a copy of your criminal history. Additionally, there is typically a non-refundable filing fee that must be paid. 

It's important to note that the process of record sealing can be quite complex and time-consuming, especially if you're not familiar with the legal jargon and procedures involved. This is where having legal representation can prove to be invaluable. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can guide you through the process, ensuring that all necessary steps are followed and increasing the likelihood of a successful outcome. 

By seeking legal assistance, you can navigate the record-sealing process with confidence, knowing that you have an experienced professional by your side. This can help alleviate any stress or confusion that may arise and ultimately increase your chances of achieving the desired result. So, don't hesitate to reach out to a qualified attorney who can provide the guidance and support you need. 

Why Legal Representation Can Help

As an attorney who's been practicing law since 2003, I've seen firsthand how beneficial having legal representation can be when trying to seal your record. An experienced attorney can guide you through the process, ensuring that all necessary forms and documents are correctly completed and submitted. 

Moreover, if your application is contested, an attorney can represent you in court, advocating for your case and increasing your chances of a successful outcome. In my years of practice, I've strived to provide compassionate counsel to my clients and help them through these legal challenges. 

In conclusion, sealing your records in Iowa is possible but depends on various factors, including the nature of your conviction and the time that has passed since your sentence was completed. It's a complex process, but with the right legal representation, you can complete it successfully and move forward with your life. If you have more questions about sealing your records or need assistance with the process, feel free to reach out. I'm here to help.