What does plea of ‘No Contest’ mean:
When you plead ‘no contest’ you do not receive a reduced sentence or get your court charges dismissed. This is an agreement that the judge will find as a factual basis for your plea and find you ‘guilty’. It has the same legal consequences as a guilty plea. It’s more beneficial if you plead ‘no contest’ when the court gives you a choice between a guilty plea and ‘no contest’ plea.
How the court judges it:
You are admitting guilt when you state, “I do not wish to contest.” It lets the court know that you or your loved one do not wish to go to trial and will allow the court to decide punishment for the charge.
You would be advised of the three step process under California Penal Code Section 1016(3) concerning no contest plea.
How does it prove advantageous?
- There are times when a ‘no contest’ plea contest can be more favorable than a guilty plea.
- Review California Penal Code Section 1016(3). There is information that states a ‘no contest’ plea in a misdemeanor criminal case cannot be used as evidence against you in a civil case.
- This means if you are responsible for injuries that are the basis for criminal charges, your ‘no contest’ plea to the criminal charges cannot be introduced against you in the civil case.
- If you would like to keep your case from going public.
- When the outcome of your trial is unclear.
What are its disadvantages?
- A first time drug offender cannot enter ‘no contest’ plea in a court of law.
- Although a ‘no contest’ plea in a misdemeanor criminal case cannot be used against you in a civil case; a ‘no contest’ plea in a felony criminal case can be used as evidence against you in a civil case.