4 Reasons to Plead No Contest

When it comes to court hearings, most people are very familiar with the “Guilty” and “Not Guilty” plea options. A third option, however, is more confusing for many people. Pleading “No Contest” is quite common in many types of cases and comes with certain benefits. The plea of no contest comes from the Latin phrase nolo contendere, which translates to “I do not wish to contest.” From a legal perspective, you are accepting the punishment for the crimes, but you do not admit guilt. While certainly not right for every situation, there are some good reasons to consider this plea option.  A no contest plea is generally not acceptable in federal court as U.S. district judges generally require criminal defendants to either admit their guilt or go to trial.

  1. Eliminates Costly & Time-Consuming Trials

Going through a trial can be very time consuming, and quite costly, depending on the charges against you. If you do not wish to endure this process, a plea of no contest may be the right solution. You may be able to make a deal with the prosecutors to get a reduced punishment and eliminate the need for a trial.

  1. Some Protections from Potential Civil Suits

When you are found guilty of a crime, that guilty verdict may be able to be used against you in a civil lawsuit. If you plead no contest, however, you have not been proven guilty, nor have you admitted guilt. If a victim involved in the crime for which you are being charged seeks to sue you in civil court, a no contest plea will make it much more difficult for them to win their case because they will have to prove that you committed the act which leads to your arrest and later civil suit. 

  1. Typically Less Severe Penalties

When dealing with felony charges it will usually be necessary to speak (or have your lawyer speak) with the prosecutors before entering a plea of no contest. During this process, it may be possible to negotiate with the prosecutors to have them seek reduced penalties in exchange for a plea of no contest. If a deal is arranged, the prosecutors won’t have to go through the trial and risk a not guilty verdict, and you will often be able to get reduced penalties.

  1. Maintain Privacy

If you enter a no contest plea, your trial will not have to move forward. This means a public hearing of all the evidence against you which you may wish to avoid. One of the biggest advantages of this is that none of this information will be known about you, which can save you from a lot of embarrassment and other issues. 

Do Not Decide on Your Own

Prior to entering any plea in your case, it is critical that you speak with your attorney. They will be able to advise you on how each of your options will impact your case. Please contact us so we can discuss your situation with you, and help you to find the best option for moving forward.  Sometimes the best option might be a trial or perhaps a non-trial resolution. 

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Weisberg Kainen Mark, PL

As experienced trial lawyers with a passion for justice, our firm provides clients with compelling advocacy, attorney availability, and creative solutions to your tax or criminal law matters.

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