Public Intoxication in Texas

Texas Penal Code Section 49.02 classifies Public Intoxication as a Class C Misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $500.00, and a permanent criminal conviction. After two convictions, repeat offenders can be charged with a Class B Misdemeanor, facing up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000.00 fine.

  • How serious is a public intoxication charge in Texas? Public Intoxication charges are very serious. They are easy to get, and if handled incorrectly, impossible to get rid of. Paying the citation will result in a permanent criminal conviction.
  • Does a public intoxication show on a background check? Yes, all Public Intoxication charges will appear on background checks. If you have been charged with Public Intoxication it is critical to get the charge dismissed. Otherwise, it will permanently appear on background checks, and can be used against you in future criminal proceedings.

What is Public Intoxication in Texas?

Under Texas law, a person commits the offense of Public Intoxication if the person appears in a public place while intoxicated to the degree that the person may endanger the person or another.

  • What is the definition of ‘Intoxication’ in Texas? Intoxication is defined in Texas as having lost the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body.
  • What is the definition of ‘Public Place’ in Texas? Public Place is defined in Texas as any place where members of the public have access. This definition includes, but is not limited to, public streets, highways, parking lots, bars, and private property. You can even be charged with Public Intoxication as a passenger in a vehicle. Learn more.
  • What is the definition of ‘Danger to Self or Others’ in Texas? There is no definition. It is entirely subjective. Police officers can (and do) construe this to mean whatever they want it to mean.

Public Intoxication in San Antonio

San Antonio is a drinking town. Whether it’s out-of-towners on the Riverwalk, locals at a Fiesta event, or a family barbeque in the neighborhood, Public Intoxication is a very common crime in Bexar County.

  • What class misdemeanor is a public intoxication in Texas? Public Intoxication is a Class C Misdemeanor. First-time Public Intoxication charges come with fines of up to $500.00, and the potential of a permanent criminal conviction. Repeat offenders face harsher penalties.
  • How long does a public intoxication stay on record in Texas? Criminal convictions are permanent in Texas. A Public Intoxication charge that is not dismissed will remain on the record forever. Charges like this can negatively affect security clearances, college admission, and student aid.
  • Can you expunge a public intoxication in Texas? After dismissal, a Public Intoxication charge will be eligible for Expunction in most circumstances. This process deletes the arrest and charge from the record. Learn more.

San Antonio Public Intoxication Lawyer

Mr. Porter has been voted by his peers as one of San Antonio’s Best Lawyers every year since 2015, with specific recognition in the fields of Criminal Defense and DWI Defense. Mr. Porter is also recognized by the National Trial Lawyers Association as a Top 40 Under 40 Criminal Defense Lawyer, and holds a 10.0 Superb rating from AVVO, where attorneys are rated based on skillful litigation, client satisfaction, peer endorsements, and positive results. Learn more.

Public Intoxication in Texas

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    Successful Cases

    CHARGES DISMISSED

    DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED .15

    Driving facts involved failing to maintain a single lane and speeding. Client refused breath test and forced law enforcement to obtain search warrant for blood. Blood test result was not used after challenge from Defense, and State waived and abandoned charge.

    CHARGES DISMISSED

    DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE

    Client was a college student, worried about the collateral consequences of an alcohol offense. After negotiation and review of the traffic stop, the case was dismissed. Client received no criminal conviction. The charge was later expunged and deleted from client’s record.

    CHARGES DISMISSED

    DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED .15+

    Client was involved in minor accident. Client was at fault in accident. A young executive, client was concerned that a criminal conviction for DWI would result in termination. After review of the traffic stop, it was clear the officer lacked probable cause for arrest. State eventually dismissed DWI charge. Client received no criminal conviction.

    CHARGES DISMISSED

    DWI 2nd

    Client, a military veteran, was facing up to one year in jail. State could not prove intoxication by alcohol, and was prepared to proceed on loss of use by marijuana. After challenging the State to prove that marijuana was ingested at or near time of driving, and that marijuana impaired client’s driving, the State dismissed the case on the day of trial.

    CHARGES DISMISSED

    DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE

    Driving facts involved a false claim by police that taillight was out. After challenging the reasonable suspicion for the traffic stop, the State was forced to dismiss the case when video did not match police report. Client has since expunged arrest, and has no criminal record.

    CHARGES DISMISSED

    DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE

    Client is a public school teacher and faced immediate termination upon conviction. The facts of the case were bad. State was unwilling to budge in negotiation, and matter was set for trial – the last shot at avoiding a conviction and preserving client’s livelihood. State was forced to dismiss on day of trial. Client has no criminal record, and has since expunged the DWI arrest.

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