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Resources for Criminal Charges in Des Moines

Restoring Your Rights

In the state of Iowa, anyone convicted of an “infamous” crime is subject to the loss of voting rights and the ability to hold public office. Voting rights may be restored by application to the Governor’s office after completion of sentence. Click here to access the Restoration of Citizenship Rights Web Page or contact Branstad Law if further assistance is needed.

Criminal Records and Employment

Information coming soon…

Expunging a Record

Criminal Record

If your criminal record affects work-related background checks, you have a few options. You are welcome to call Branstad Law for assistance in requesting expungement. Not Guilty or Dismissed charges.

Not Guilty or Dismissed Charges

If prior dismissed charges are following you around, you can request expungement of those charges if certain conditions are met:

  • The charges were dismissed or the defendant was acquitted of the charge.
  • All court costs, fees and ordered financial obligations are paid.
  • At least one hundred eighty days have passed since entry of the judgment of acquittal or of the order dismissing the case (as long as the dismissal was not due to a finding of insanity and the defendant was not found incompetent).

If expunged, the charge becomes a confidential record exempt from public access.

Drivers License Information

Polk County offers a License Reinstatement Program (LRP) allows a driver to regain license privileges that have been suspended for non-payment of fines. The starting point for LRP is completion of an LRP financial affidavit. To see the status of your license, click here A driver who is not eligible for full privileges may apply for a Temporary Restricted License (TRL) to deal with driving for daily obligations like work or school. If you would like assistance in pursuing any of these options, you may contact Branstad Law to determine if we can help.

Post-Conviction Relief

Branstad Law represents clients in Post Conviction Relief Actions Post-Conviction Relief (PCR) is available after final judgment and after appeal options are exhausted. Post-Conviction Relief may offer forms of relief including: release, new trial, or modification of sentence. Iowa Code Chapter 822 provides the procedure for Postconviction Relief. Situations in which PCR is applicable:

  • The defense attorney did not perform essential functions (Ineffective Assistance of Counsel).
  • The conviction or sentence is unconstitutional or otherwise illegal.
  • The client discovers new evidence of material facts.
  • A new statute or case affects the trial, sentence or evidence.

Family Law

The Children in the Middle Course is offered at the following locations:

  • Mercy Franklin Center 1750 48th Street, Suite 2 Des Moines, IA 50310 515-643-2584
  • Boone County CARES, Inc PO Box 514 Boone, IA 50036 515-443-4893
  • Southwest Community College 1501 W. Townline Road Creston, IA 50801 641-782-1449 or
  • Journey Counseling and Consultation 118 Hayward, Suite #6 Ames, IA 50014 515-292-9697
  • Center for Interpersonal Effectiveness 2525 N Ankeny Blvd., Suite #113 Ankeny, IA 50023 515-289-9136
  • * Offers programs at Altoona, Kirkendall, Johnston, and Newton Public Libraries
  • Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) 2006 South Ankeny Blvd. Ankeny, IA 50023 515-964-6685 Counseling
  • Center for Central Iowa Iowa Health System 6000 University Ave, Suite 200 West Des Moines, IA 50266 515-241-2300
  • Lutheran Hospital 700 E. University Ave. Des Moines, IA 50316 515-241-2300
  • Parenting Way, Inc. 1211 Vine St., Suite 2140 West Des Moines, IA 50265 515-225-9490

Additional Information:

Juvenile Court

Before a Child in Need of Assistance (CINA) proceeding begins, the Department of Human Services (DHS) will have performed an assessment based on a referral from Child Protective Services. If DHS has concerns about the health, welfare or safety of the children in your home, the intake worker may refer your situation to the County Attorney. At that time, the County Attorney will file a Petition with the Court to begin the Child in Need of Assistance proceeding and a hearing will be set. Each parent and the children involved have a right to have an attorney throughout the CINA proceeding. In some cases, the Court may remove the children from your home and place them with a relative or other appropriate person. It is important to know your rights, know DHS and Court expectations of you, and that you ask questions. If you are involved in a CINA proceeding, Branstad & Olson Law can assist you with the process, answer your questions and help you get to the best place you can be.

Additional Information:

Paying Fines

Mail a check to: Clerk of Court (Place the case name and case number in the memo of the check). Clerk of Court Polk Justice Center 222 5th Avenue Des Moines, Iowa 50309

Credit cards: Call the Clerk of Court and Pay by phone Polk County Clerk 515-286-3917


Making a payment plan: Polk County Attorney’s Office: Polk County Justice Center 222 5th Avenue Des Moines, Iowa 50309 You MUST bring the following with you:

  1. $100.00 MONEY ORDER payable to: “Clerk of Court” AND
  2. Proof of income (You must have one of the following) A. Recent Paycheck Stubs (Two is preferred) B. Government assistance benefits (bring award letter) C. Unemployment income (statement of unemployment benefits receiving) D. Self employment income (proof of recent income) E. If you have no income you need to get a “white sheet” from Iowa Work Force


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