Nolo Contendere Pleas

If you are arrested in Pennsylvania, your case will work through Pennsylvania’s legal system. The system is complex and involves multiple steps, beginning with the initial arraignment. The process then goes all the way through a trial, to sentencing. However, there is a high probability that your case will not go through all these steps. It can be settled at any point along the way. One of the ways this can happen is with a nolo contendere plea.

Usually, defendants who are charged with criminal offenses end in a plea bargain. Only a small number of cases go 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 general perplexity. Your Pittsburgh Criminal Lawyer will negotiate in your best interest and inform you fully of any plea deals.

“No Contest” Basics

After the pretrial conferences are finished, and your Pittsburgh Criminal Lawyer has evaluated the evidence gathered from the investigation, you have two options: you can decide to go ahead with a trial, or you can offer a guilty plea. To plead guilty involves admitting that you did the things you are accused of. One of the ways you can give a guilty plea is a nolo contendere plea.

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.

When a nolo contendere plea is given, the judge and the prosecutor agree on the sentence to give the defendant. However, he or she is unlikely to agree. By giving a nolo contendere plea, you are indicating that you know the prosecutor has enough evidence to prove you did the deed, but that you are not guilty.

There is one advantage to a nolo contendere plea, and that is that your criminal record will state “nolo contendere” instead of “guilty.” Anyone running a background check will see that was the plea you gave.

The judge will accept your nolo contendere plea, if you are competent to make a decision about your plea, and are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. You may be sentenced right then, or a sentencing hearing may be scheduled for you for a future date.

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 and show that you weren’t responsible for the crime. Your lawyer will find adequate evidence to make your plea possible. Don’t delay! Call the offices of Sean Logue Law now at 1-844-PITT-DUI or 412-389-0805, or contact us online.