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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23185
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Are you a lawyer in texas? Can you you explain a law to me??

Customer Question

Are you a lawyer in texas?
JA: No. I'm the Criminal Lawyer's Assistant.
Customer: Can you you explain a law to me??
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: No My friend was arrested for public intoxication last night and has court on Monday
JA: Since laws vary from place to place, what state is this in? And when did this happen?
Customer: Texas
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No
Submitted: 11 days ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 11 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 11 days ago.

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 your friend is looking at is a fine. There would be a record of his conviction if he pled guilty to this, but 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 your friend 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 a public record and could potentially be found by private background check companies. It won't turn up on his RAP sheet, but someone doing a thorough background check could potentially find it anyway.

Texas will not remove convictions from a person's record unless they have first been pardoned by the governor, even for a Class C misdemeanor. So your friend may want to retain a lawyer and see if he could negotiate a diversion type of disposition. This is where he'd 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 the case gets dismissed. Diversion is more work than paying a fine, but in the long run it's worth it because If your friend can get diversion, then his record can be expunged. If your friend can't get diversion but can get a deferral and community supervision, he could get an order of non-disclosure, which means the record would be sealed.

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

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