Pleading “No Contest”
Criminal Defense Lawyer
When you are facing criminal charges and do not desire to plead guilty or not guilty, you have the option of pleading “no contest”. This is the complete dismissal of admission or denial. Pleading no contest typically occurs during the process of negotiating a plea. The pleading law varies from state to state, and pleading no contest is not always available so it is important to speak with an attorney as soon as you are faced with criminal charges according to a criminal defense attorney with our friends at The Lynch Law Group.
Although pleading no contest is nearly equivalent to “guilty”, this plea cannot be used as evidence against the defendant if a future civil case occurs. While the defendant can be punished on the same level as if they are found guilty, by pleading no contest no parties involved in the case can later press charged or file a suit, because technically there was never any admission of guilt.
Likely benefits of pleading no contest:
- You welcome the possibility of a lesser charge,
- There is a chance of a reduced sentence, and
- You are likely avoiding several attorney fees, amongst a few other things.
Just as there are benefits to this plea, there are drawbacks to this plea. As mentioned previously, it is possible to receive the same sentence or punishment as you would when you plead guilty. It is not exactly admission of guilt, but because it is omission of any responsibility at all it is equivalent to giving your right to say, to the judge or jury.
If you were to plead no contest for a crime and later be arrested for the same crime again, that previous case will be on your record and be used against you in the determining of your punishment. What makes it worse, is due to this previous no contest plea, your new sentence may be worse than if it were your first offense.
For a better understanding of the law in your state, and your plea options, before you make a decision speak to a skilled criminal defense lawyer that will be able to advise you of the best option in your case. What you plea in court can possibly ruin your record and because there is a lack of knowledge of the law, if you or a loved one is scheduled to appear in court it is best that you have legal representation that can review your case and point you in the right direction. You should not do this alone.
A lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation into your case to compile evidence that will help your legal options. They will be able to advise you every step of the way so that you are always aware of what is going on for your specific situation. At an initial consultation, a lawyer should be able to give you an estimate timeline as well as an outlook as to how your case might play out. Contact a lawyer near you today for help.