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Governor Branstad signs “expungement bill”

gavel-justiceDES MOINES – A bill championed by a North Iowa legislator was signed today but Governor Branstad which clears the way for persons found innocent of charges to have their records cleared.

An act (SF385) relating to the expungement of not-guilty verdicts and dismissed criminal-charge records passed the Iowa House 96-0 and later the Senate before ebbing signed Friday by governor Terry Branstad.

The bill was strongly supported by Representative Sharon Steckman.  She told Iowa Public Radio in April 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.

After the governor signed the bill Friday, Rep. Steckman expressed her gratitude to other legislators and excitement that the bill was now law.

“WOW! So excited the Governor just signed the Expungement bill,” Mrs. Steckman said.  “Thanks to all those involved that helped make this a reality, especially Ranking Member of Judiciary Rep. Mary Wolfe! Could not have done it without you! Glad we could help my constituent and thousands of other Iowans!”

The new bill does not apply to dismissals related to a deferred judgment.

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