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No Contest Plea

No Contest Plea

When it comes to criminal defense law there are three ways to plea; guilty, not guilty, and no contest. The no-contest plea also known as nolo contendere is a legal term that literally means ‘I do not wish to contend’. In other words, one who pleads no contest is not pleading guilty but they are also not contending the charges against them. Generally, this is used during a plea deal. When this type of plea is made by a defendant, the defendant is not claiming guilt but is accepting the sentencing agreed to with the prosecutor. In some states, this is known as the best interest plea. It is like the middle ground when it comes to plea agreements. It can be explained as not fully agreeing with the charges against you but agreeing that with the given evidence and circumstances in court, it is in the best interest to take the plea. This is accepting the punishment for a crime that you are not admitting guilt to. A no-contest plea is not admitting to guilt or claiming innocence but admitting that the prosecutor has enough evidence to convict you of the crime.

What is the Benefit of A No-Contest Plea?

The real benefit of a no-contest plea is that if you ever have a case that is also directly associated with a civil case, then a ‘guilty’ plea can not be used against you in the civil case. Although you are punished and convicted as if you plead guilty a no-contest plea is technically not pleading guilty. Therefore, it cannot be used as such against you in a civil case. For instance, let’s pretend there are some damages from an alleged crime you committed and someone wants to bring a civil case against you to collect monetary compensation. They cannot use a guilty plea against you because you technically did not plead guilty. This is the whole idea behind pleading no contest is that it can not be used against you as a guilty plea should a civil case arise from the alleged crime.

Are you or someone you know facing criminal charges and in need of an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you? A defense attorney who can help walk you through the trial process? Criminal Defense Attorney Briana Robertson would be happy to help you. Schedule a free consultation today!

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