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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23176
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Well i got a ticket for public intoxication and i need to

Customer Question

well i got a ticket for public intoxication and i need to make sure it doesnt go on my records
JA: In what state did this occur?
Customer: dallas texas .. while visiting
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: no yet
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: just that i was inside a bar drinking and when i went out side a security guards (so i thought- the uniform) said i was intoxicated dn i said i jsut came out of the bar.. my friend was still thing you know he arrested me. he might of make me blow but i am not sure
Submitted: 13 days ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 13 days ago.


I'm Zoey and I'll be assisting you. I'm reviewing your question now. Please be patient while I research and compose a reply for you.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 13 days ago.

As you probably already know, public intoxication is a class C misdemeanor in Texas, punishable only with a civil fine. It's the criminal equivalent of a traffic infraction. So the worst you're looking at is a fine. There would be a record of your conviction if you pled guilty to this, that record doesn't go any higher than the local court level. By that I mean,there's a copy of this filed with the court, but it should not show up on an official state or federal background check.

According to Sec. 12.03(c) of the Texas penal code, a conviction on a class C misdemeanor doesn't impose any kind of criminal or legal liability on the offender. So it is not in the state or Federal criminal data base and you wouldn't have to disclose it.

On the other hand, a copy remains in the courthouse and it is not under seal. That means it's public record and could potentially be found by private background check companies. It won't turn up on your RAP sheet, but someone doing a thorough background check could potentially find it anyway.

Texas will not remove convictions from your record unless they have first been pardoned by the governor, even for a Class C misdemeanor. So you may want to retain a lawyer and see if he could negotiate a diversion type of disposition. This is where you have a period of supervision, pay some fines, do some community service and stay out of further trouble with the law.

Complete it all successfully and your case gets dismissed. Diversion is more work than paying a fine, but in the long run it's worth it because If you can get diversion, then your record can be expunged. If you can't get diversion but can get a deferral and community supervision, you could get an order of non-disclosure, which means the record would be sealed.

If you want to fight the case rather than take a disposition, since he didn't give you a breath the and the only evidence that you were intoxicated is his testimony, then your worst case scenario is still only a fine. Still, to fight it, you should retain a lawyer for best results.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 11 days ago.

Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Hello Zoey, is there a lawyer that you can recommend? I would like my record either expongue or sealed?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 6 days ago.

Sorry for the delay. I was away from the computer when you replied.

We are not allowed to recommend a particular lawyer or law firm. But I can direct you to the same referral services that lawyers themselves use when they need to find a lawyer out of town to consult with and don't know anyone personally.

You can contact the Texas Bar Association's Lawyer Referral service. They charge a fee of around $50 for the referral and it includes a free half hour consultation with the attorney.

There are also commercial legal referral services. Two that are very good are and Many of their attorneys are peer and client rated, which can help you narrow your choices.

If you require additional information, please post your follow up here on this question thread, and I’ll be happy to provide it.

If I have addressed all of your concerns, please take the time to rate my service to you by selecting 3, 4, or 5 stars, as that is the only way that JustAnswer gives us Experts credit for our work here. You would still be able to ask further follow ups about this incident for no additional cost, even after I've been rated.