If I’ve had 2 public intoxication offenses and did community service the first time and paid a fine the second, does this mean I was found guilty and have to tell potential employers?

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If I’ve had 2 public intoxication offenses and did community service the first time and paid a fine the second, does this mean I was found guilty and have to tell potential employers?

Asked on December 18, 2012 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

David West / West & Corvelli

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

This is not easy to answer.  You can do community service on a charge and still get it dismissed in exchange for your community service - this is called pretrial diversion.  If you did that with the first case then you have no conviction for it.  In most cases if you pay a fine then you did plead guilty to the charge and will have a conviction so most likely you do have a conviction for the second case.

Nevertheless, public intoxication is a misdemeanor and in some cases it is only a violation of a city ordinance.  In most states, city ordinance violations do not appear on your permanent criminal history.  If your case was in a city court and not a state court your chances of this being the case are much higher.

Also, be aware that most employers only ask if you have ever been arrested or pled guilty to a felony.  These are not felony charges so your answer to this question would be no.  If they ask for all arrests then it would be your decision whether to disclose these very minor infractions.

Good Luck.

David West

Attorney at Law

Kevin Bessant / Law Office of Kevin Bessant & Associates

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The issue is whether or not these public intoxication convictions appear on your criminal record as a conviction or not. In most jurisdictions, public intoxication is considered a misdemeanor offense. For first time offenders, courts typically offer a reduced plea or delayed sentence to avoid this conviction from appearing on your record. This type of sentencing is usually not offered for a second conviction. You need to check with the court to see if these charges appear as convictions on your criminal record because if they do, then Yes, you will have to divulge this information to a potential employer if they ask.


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