My question involves criminal law for the state of: Iowa
When I was 19 I made the mistake of shoplifting. I plead guilty to the charge because I wasn't aware of the severe consequences of the conviction considering it was a misdameanor (I did not have a public defender or lawyer, and the judge didn't inform me there was such a thing as a defered judgment and a expungment process for first time offenders if they attended a certain class). I received a charge of theft in the fith degree.
I am now 27, have served in the United States Army and have maintained a clean record (except for a minor traffic violation) since. I even pay for the music I download! Is there a way for this record to be expunged, sealed, or destroyed?
It comes up on every background check and has caused me employment opportunities in addition to apartment complexes not wanting to rent to me based on this fact alone. This charge is also going to cause difficulties for the chosen career path I plan on attending school for. Any advice would be beneficial.