Help & Support Center/Criminal Records

Is Pleading No Contest to a Misdemeanor considered a Conviction?

Client Support
posted this on April 28, 2011 10:32 AM

YES - A plea of no contest means you do not contest the charges against you. It has the same effect as a guilty plea. It results in a conviction and will stay on your record unless expunged.

There is no difference between a no contest plea and a guilty plea. Even though you may not be admitting guilt, a no contest plea allows the Court to enter a conviction and impose a sentence upon you. By pleading no contest, you give up your constitutional rights to a trial, to have your guilt or innocence decided by a jury, to confront your accusers and cross-examine them in court and to raise any defense you may have to the charge against you. Unless you have an agreement with the prosecutor for a deferred adjudication or sentence, the court will sentence you on a no contest plea as if you pleaded guilty, and you will have a record of conviction.

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Nolo contendere is a legal term that comes from the Latin for "I do not wish to contend." It is also referred to as a plea of no contest.

A nolo contendere plea has the same immediate effects as a plea of guilty, but may have different residual effects or consequences in future actions. For instance, a conviction arising from a nolo contendere plea is subject to any and all penalties, fines, and forfeitures of a conviction from a guilty plea in the same case, and can be considered as an aggravating factor in future criminal actions. However, unlike a guilty plea, a defendant in a nolo contendere plea may not be required to allocute the charges. This means that a nolo contendere conviction typically may not be used to establish either negligence per se, malice, or whether the acts were committed at all in later civil proceedings related to the same set of facts as the criminal prosecution

 
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