Pleading No Contest or Nolo Contendere in a Criminal Case

If you are charged with a criminal offense in Oklahoma, you will have the option to enter one of three pleas:

  • Guilty
  • Not guilty
  • No contest, formally known as nolo contendere

Typically, a guilty plea is entered in exchange for a reduced sentence through a plea bargain. On the other hand, entering a plea of not guilty will result in a trial. But what exactly does it mean to enter a plea of no contest?

No Contest Explained

The no contest plea means that, while you do not admit guilt in the alleged offense, you acknowledge that the evidence against you could likely result in a jury finding you guilty. A no contest plea is sometimes the best option in situations where the prosecution has an overwhelming case against you.

Effect of No Contest Plea

A no contest plea essentially has the same effect as a guilty plea. This means that if you plead no contest, you accept whatever punishment the court deems appropriate.

Benefits of No Contest Plea

The main benefit of pleading no contest is that it cannot be used against you in a civil trial. In other words, if you plead no contest, the party suing you still has to prove the case against you in civil court.

Is No Contest Right for Me?

No contest pleas should only be considered as a last resort in most criminal cases. Before entering a plea, our attorneys can examine all aspects of your case and counsel you on the best approach to obtain the best possible outcome.

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