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What Does Pleading No-Contest Mean?


Pleading No Contest or Nolo Contendere in a Criminal Case

When you are charged with a crime or a  criminal traffic offense, you have the option of pleading guilty, not guilty, not guilty by reason of insanity, or no-contest, formally known as nolo contendere, which your judge will officially note in the court’s records.


While the others are pretty self-explanatory, pleading no-contest isn’t an admission of guilt, but it’s an admission that the facts surrounding the case are true; whereas, pleading guilty means you accept the guilt of those facts plus the resulting legal consequences.


In some cases, this type of plea can be beneficial. When you plead no-contest and do not admit guilt, this prevents your admission from being used against you in a later proceeding and also allows you to appeal certain court rulings.


Unfortunately, a no-contest plea doesn’t mean a judge will possibly find you not guilty, even if you present a really good excuse. This only happens in the very rare case that the filed paperwork contains errors or the law enforcement officer who handled your case presents inconsistencies.


While you have a choice to plead no-contest or guilty, sometimes no-contest isn’t the best option. For example, when a favorable plea bargain is brought to the table, taking a reduced sentence may be the better option.


Using a No Contest Plea Effectively


No contest pleas are a quick and easy way to close up criminal defense case, but watch out carefully No contest pleas must be used carefully. No contest plea denied might brings more complexity on your case Although, your attempt to use a no contest or guilty plea deal cannot be used as evidence or construed as an admission of guilt.


If there is a chance you can fight the charges to a not guilty verdict or case dismissal, you really should explore it to the fullest. The benefits of completely avoiding conviction are monumental compared to using a pleading no contest deal.


The experienced Waukesha and Milwaukee criminal defense lawyers of Huppertz & Powers, S.C. can help you navigate the process, protect your rights and determine which plea will be most beneficial in your specific case. Contact us now at 262-549-5979 to discuss your case — the first meeting is on us. You can also fill out our criminal defense intake form.

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