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Bill to expunge records of innocent wins House approval

Iowa capitol
Iowa capitol

DES MOINES – A bill to clean up the court records of those charged with crimes and later found innocent has passed the Iowa House.

An act (SF385) relating to the expungement of not-guilty verdicts and dismissed criminal-charge records passed the Iowa House 96-0 Tuesday.  There were some minor changes to the version of the bill that already passed the Iowa Senate on March 17, 2015.

“So glad the bill has made it through,” Representative Sharon Steckman said after the bill passed.  “Thanks to Rep. Mary Wolfe for all her hard work to work out all the details.”

Rep. Steckman told Iowa Public Radio about a constituent who had been wrongfully charged with dealing meth, but the charge remained in her online criminal court records.  The charge – even though dismissed – had hindered her from obtaining employment.  The bill aims to clean up those kinds of records and avoid problems for those who were not convicted of crimes.

The Iowa Senate must now approve the amended bill before the governor has a chance to sign it.

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