Nolo Contendere Pleas

Usually, defendants who are charged with criminal cases end in a plea bargain. Only a fraction of cases goes to trial. The incentive for defendants in plea bargaining is to admit guilt to a lower charge and receive a lighter sentence than they could potentially receive at trial. Defendants who are charged with less serious convictions are imposed with a lighter sentence by the judge after the defendant pleas.

A nolo contendere plea is offered in Pennsylvania as an alternative to pleading guilty or not guilty. This is a complex plea that sometimes leads to a general perplexity. Your Pittsburgh Criminal Lawyer will negotiate in your best interest and inform you fully on any plea deals.

“No Contest” Basics

In “no contest” or nolo contendere pleas, the defendant doesn’t admit the crime or guilt but offers no contest to the case. One tangible benefit of pleading no contest is it prohibits the use of the criminal action in a related civil suit.

For example, suppose Steven and Ernie, met at a sports bar in the evening and got into a fight for some reason. Steven punched Ernie and broke the jaw. The case went to the local district attorney’s office and the official reviewed the police report of the incident and decided to prosecute Steven for the criminal battery. Ernie hired a personal Pittsburgh Criminal Lawyer who filed a civil lawsuit against Steven. In this case, it is advisable that Steven to plead nolo contendere rather than guilty to the criminal charge. In this case, the personal injury lawyer is unable to argue in the court that Steven’s plea means he is liable for Ernie’s injuries.

Difference between Pleading Guilty and No Contest

The difference depends on case to case. Sometimes there is no difference, and sometimes there is a huge difference. If you admit your fault, there could legal consequences of your guilt and the facts.. However, in no contest plea where you admit the fact but not your guilt, is the best way to avoid a trial if the defense is discouraging. No contest plea prevents the plea from being used against the defendant in the civil proceeding. It also gives leverage to the defendant to appeal a ruling by the court, such as rulings allowing certain evidence to be used by the government.

Hire a Personal Lawyer

In a nolo contendere plea, the law is a bit convoluted. The case has to be handled by an experienced Pittsburgh Criminal Lawyer like Sean Logue, who has the appropriate background to handle pleas. Your lawyer’s main job is to discredit evidence to show that you weren’t responsible for the crime. Your lawyer will find adequate evidence to make your plea possible.