Court can be a confusing place. Many of the terms we’ve come to know stem from binge watching prime-time court dramas. But what does it all mean? Well, we’re not going to tackle them all today, but we are going to cover one that is heard quite often but may not be completely clear – no contest.
Okay, so for the sake of clarity, let’s talk about the guilt plea first – bear with us, they’re connected. Pleading guilty often allows the defendant to obtain a conviction on a less serious charge, a recommendation that the judge impose a lighter sentence, or both. So, often, a defendant may feel the need to fall on their sword, so to speak, to not run the risk of the harshest sentence possible, even if they aren’t guilty of the crime of which they’re being accused.
In comes the no contest plea. A no contest or nolo contendere plea has a somewhat similar effect, but you aren’t admitting that you’re guilty. On the surface, it helps the defendant maintain a sense of personal satisfaction knowing that they didn’t have to admit to something they didn’t do just to get a lesser sentence, but, as usual, there’s more to it – no contest often appeals to defendants looking to avoid an admission of fault in a related civil case, but its use is typically at the discretion of the judge.
No contest pleas can get complicated, but the general concept is one that may appeal to many seeking to get the benefits of a guilty plea without the social and personal repercussions of pleading guilty.
This is where an experienced defense attorney comes in – an attorney like Jonathan W. McConnell, one of Wichita’s leading defense attorneys. If you have questions about a no plea contest or anything related to legal defense, contact Jon today.