Understanding a No Contest Plea

Individuals charged with a crime are often provided options. They may choose to plead guilty, not guilty or no contest, among others. What does no contest mean, and how does a person find criminal defense information about options such as this? It is best to speak to an attorney to learn exactly how each plea will affect the specific case, as no two legal situations are identical. Individuals, however, who simply want basic information about a no contest plea will find the following information to be of help.

A No Contest Plea

People must understand certain things about a no contest or Nolo Contendere plea. First and foremost, people need to understand that pleading no contest is in many ways similar to pleading guilty. The defendant doesn’t admit his or her guilt, but is still convicted of the crime which he or she is accused of. In addition, he or she will be punished for this crime. As a result of this, people often wonder why a person would choose this option. The one benefit of doing so is the defendant isn’t admitting he or she is at fault when it comes to a civil case, although this does vary in some states. For this reason, legal advice will be needed.

When May This Plea Be Used

Anyone who has been charged with a crime may choose to plead no contest. This does not mean that the judge must accept the plea. When a judge accepts a guilty plea, he or she must believe that the evidence in the case will support this plea. This is not the case when it comes to a no contest plea. Some states require the judge believe the evidence will support the plea, but this is not true in all states. Defendants need to understand what the standard is with regard to the court where they are being tried.

Contact an attorney to learn about the different types of pleas and the benefits and drawbacks of each. The legal system is very complex and what may seem to be very straightforward often isn’t. An attorney can review the facts of the case and provide more information about the options and when they should be used. Don’t hesitate to seek this help. A person’s future depends on it.