What is a no-contest plea during a criminal trial?

By Jonathan Blecher on May 23, 2022

If you are charged with a crime in Florida, one of the most important issues you will need to explore is the type of plea you should enter during the arraignment. One of the pleas you can consider is known as a “no-contest plea.”

Nolo contendere or no-contest is a Latin term that translates to “I wish not to contest.” Basically, it means that you are neither disputing nor admitting to what the prosecution is accusing you of committing. In other words, while you are not denying the charge, you are also not admitting the truth of the facts the prosecution is indicting you for.

So should you enter a no-contest plea?

Generally, you will need to choose between pleading guilty to the charge or entering a no-contest plea. However, if the prosecution offers a plea deal, then you may have to take it rather than opting for a no-contest plea. Here are two things that will happen if you enter a no-contest plea.

Your case will not proceed to trial

Based on this initial plea, your defense will review your case and potentially propose a plea bargain. Should your defense recommend a no-contest plea, your case will not proceed to trial. Instead, the judge will schedule sentencing based on the nature of the crime.

You will contend will the sentence

By choosing not to contest the charge, you are ultimately accepting the consequences therein. And that means accepting the conviction that the judge will pronounce. Depending on the crime in question, your defense may negotiate a reduced sentence.

Facing a criminal charge is a big deal, and the consequences can be severe. Find out how you can safeguard your rights when charged with a crime.

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