Is it Better to Plead Guilty or No Contest for a Speeding Ticket?
Are you wondering about how to plea for a speeding ticket? When there is a choice between a guilty plea or no contest plea, you may find it confusing, as many others do. So, what’s the difference?
Pleading guilty means you admit the charges, saying that you have no defense for your actions, and allowing the court to proceed to levy punishment against you. The court will ensure that you entered the guilty plea of your own volition and that they have reason to believe you are being truthful. For example, a parent might plead guilty to a crime to protect their child, and the court would need to examine this situation for truthfulness. Plus, pleading guilty means, the prosecutor must explain what evidence they had against you if you had pleaded not guilty and a trial had been set.
A guilty plea is pretty straightforward. You admit to the charges. You do not agree to having committed the allegation in a no contest plea, you merely accept that the prosecution can produce sufficient evidence for you to be found guilty. Generally, no contest is likely the better way to go. If possible, but it depends on the situation.
A no contest plea does not admit guilt, but as treated as guilt for the purpose of sentencing. No contest limits future liability. Pleading no contest means you admit no guilt or wrongdoing for the crime, but the court can determine the punishment. A court can decline to accept a no contest plea, but will probably not do so for a minor traffic infraction or violation. You may have a greater chance of getting a lesser sentence than might have been handed down by a jury trial.
Entering a no contest plea often serves the purpose of avoiding being sued in civil court for confessing to a crime, which forms the basis of a guilty plea. If the no contest plea restricts another person from suing you in civil court for an action, then it’ is curious why anyone would enter a plea of “guilty” to charges against them.
The judge may have a conversation with you to ensure that you understand the no contest plea and the potential punishment. This allows you to explain the circumstances and why you are pleading no contest instead of guilty or not guilty. The judge can gain a better perspective on the matter through this conversation.
Restrictions on pleading no contest vary state to state, and in some jurisdictions, it is restricted. It is not likely that the court will allow you to enter a no contest plea while you are denying your guilt to the media. This circumstance is known as an Alford plea and is based on a 1963 murder case in North Carolina. That defendant pleaded guilty to second-degree murder to avoid the death penalty, but still stated his innocence publically.
To find out more about the best choice of a plea for your personal situation, make an appointment to consult with a traffic ticket attorney.