Antonio has two children with his ex-wife Laura Dawson. He often spends time with his children Eva Dawson and Diego Dawson. His wife wanted a divorce because his job as a detective was having an impact on family life.
Dawson had a short romantic relationship with paramedic Sylvie Brett. Unfortunately, Antonio's situation with his ex-wife proved too stressful on their relationship and they ended it. The couple did leave the future open when things settle down.
Dawson's son, Diego, was kidnapped by a criminal that Intelligence was pursuing in Stepping Stone. In Wrong Side of the Bars, Pulpo handed Intelligence an ultimatum, otherwise Diego would die. However, Antonio and the team were able to rescue him, and he was willing to do anything it took to get his son back.
This combined with Antonio getting shot in My Way leads to his wife, Laura, becoming worried for his wellbeing, and she asks him to quit working in Intelligence. He refuses and tells her it's his job. Voight also tells him that she can't just expect him to stop working. However, in A Beautiful Friendship, he and Laura get into a fight. When Antonio returns home at the end of the day, he finds his house empty and a letter from her. She leaves him and takes the children, who are then rarely seen, but they do come over ocassionally, indicating some sort of custody arrangement.
In Chicken, Dynamite, Chainsaw, Eva turned up at the station to see her dad. He was furious that she'd travelled to see him on her own, without telling her mother, and told her something could've happened. However, he feels guilty when she tells him it's because she misses him and he's not in her life anymore. He tells her that him, her and Diego will always be a family, and also to never run away like that again.
In The Cases That Need to Be Solved, Diego was with Antonio for his birthday, and he asks for a video game, which Antonio doesn't want to get him, telling Diego that he needs to understand that he can't always have what he wants when he gets upset. When he then works on a tough case involving a young child who had been killed. After Diego's party, Antonio takes him to the boy's vigil.
Sylvie asked Antonio out later on, which Antonio refused to do. He told her he liked her but he couldn't bring her in the mess with him and Laura, his ex-wife, but Sylvie insists they'll work it out. They started going out happily, and Sylvie even learnt to play chess to impress his son, Diego. However, Antonio gets stuck at work and asks her to take care of Diego for a few hours, and Laura comes to the firehouse and lashes out at her, saying that she can't believe Antonio is leaving her children with 'blondes'. Antonio comes to see her after and tells her he shouldn't have put her in that position, and she says he should've warned her. He says he told her he was a mess, and she says he didn't say that his ex-wife would be the one taking her anger out on her, and that clearly he and Laura aren't ready to move on. Antonio says he doesn't need to hear from her on top of Laura and his job, and she says he won't, and they break up. Sylvie didn't take it well, and they left hope for the future, and she remained concerned about him.
Antonio got a job offer from Peter Stone in 300,000 Likes to join him as Chief Investigator. He found out that Voight had suggested him and given his name forward, and he interpreted it as him not being a good detective which was why Voight was 'transferring' him out. Voight told him that he gave his name because he was a great detective and he deserved a promotion. Antonio accepted it and left Intelligence in A Shot Heard Around the World.
In Reform, Antonio helped Voight with a case he was working on. Antonio said he wanted to help out with the whole case, and Voight said it was okay. Antonio then mentioned that the investigator job was getting boring and tiresome, after which Voight told him that he could always come back to his old job if he was up for it. Antonio said he wanted to.
In Promise, he rejoined the Intelligence Unit as a detective. It was also revealed that his daughter, Eva, would be living with him because she was having issues with her mother and her new boyfriend. On his return, he took up a case of a murdered Latino woman because Eva told him to. Voight was surprised, because he said it was a simple case and they shouldn't have to take it, until he found out Antonio took it on. However, the case turned out to be very complex, and after continuously being unable to gather the evidence they needed to put the offender away, Antonio got particularly frustrated and accused Voight of not doing enough to help with the case and of giving up. Voight then arranged a lineup of men, and all Antonio had to do was bring the woman's son in to identify the man. Antonio contemplated telling him who to point at, but decided against it and told him to just do what he thought. When the boy then failed to do it, Hank was furious and told Antonio that he blew his chances and there was no other way. Antonio was still determined, even though it was a lost cause.
Voight decided to tip off another victim's family on who it was, since they could not personally arrest him. Antonio figured this out quickly on a chase-up, and soon found that the offender had been murdered for revenge. He was angered, and went to see Voight, who told him that it was what he wanted, and they left it at that.
In Snitch, Antonio took off early from a case after telling Voight he had to go to Eva's parent-teacher conference. However, when meeting up with an attorney to discuss an Intelligence case, Hank saw Antonio talking to another attorney and took a picture, which he then gave Alvin to run. The two found out that the man worked with someone Voight used to work with. Voight told Alvin 'they were coming after him', implying that Antonio was working against Voight behind his back.
Eva is Antonio's daughter, with whom he shares a close bond with. Eva was the most upset when her parents split up, and even ran away from home to see him one day, because she said she never saw him. He told her not to worry and that they'll always be close.
In season 5, she moved in with him because she was having issues with her mother's boyfriend.
Diego is Antonio's son. He lived with his parents at the start, and his mother owned a bakery. However, he was kidnapped in Season 1 as a way to leverage Intelligence. However, he was rescued soon enough, but this took a toll on his marriage. Then, after Antonio was shot, his wife, Laura, didn't want him to return to full duty because she thought it was too dangerous. He shared this with Voight, who asked him if she was seriously asking him to quit. She left him soon after, and Diego was seen a few times afterwards.
Voight is Antonio's superior. Antonio had gotten him arrested before Intelligence for his corruption, but he was released soon after and given the job as head of Intelligence, and he decided to recruit Antonio.
Antonio frequently has rifts with Voight because he decides not to follow the law on some cases. While this highly frustrates him, the two deeply respect each other, and it was Voight who told him to come back to Intelligence in Season 5. In the same season, Voight thought Antonio was going behind his back to try and take him down. However, it was later revealed that he was trying to stop Voight from being investigated for the murder in Promise.
Chicago Police Department
Antonio joined the CPD at a young age and after passing the academy, had Trudy Platt as his Field Training Officer. He then pulled Platt out of the line of fire when she was shot during shootout.
Dawson soon showed his abilities to ranking officers and was quickly assigned to the VICE unit and worked with them for a few years before transferring.
Hank Voight recruited Dawson into the Intelligence Section after he was arrested by him and saw that he was a determined and honest police officer. Dawson and Voight had somewhat of a strained partnership through the first few seasons, but soon they figured out how to work together.
State Attorney's Office
However, in Reform, he took Voight up on the offer to come back, because he felt the job he did at the Office was "boring".
- (To Eva Dawson): "You, me and Diego, are a knot that will never come undone."
- (To Gradishar): "You don't know what we do, or what we sacrafice, or the price we pay for this." (referring to being a CPD officer.)
- Antonio was friends with Jay and was the one who brought him to Intelligence.
- Antonio is an avid boxer, just as actor who portrays him, Jon Seda.
- Though no exact age is given, it has been mentioned Antonio and his sister Gabby are about 10 years apart in age.
- Antonio's character is known as the crossover king in the Chicago series, being that he started as a recurring character on Fire then a main character on PD and a main character on Justice. Not to mention an episode on Law and Order SVU.