What is a "No Contest" Plea

When you plea “no contest” in a criminal matter you are not admitting guilt.  However, you are not challenging any of the evidence against you or disagreeing with the facts outlined in the police report or presented as evidence in the case. Effectively you are waiving your right to present any evidence in your defense and giving up your right to counter the prosecution’s case against you.


Benefits of No Contest Plea

If you plead guilty on a case, then that guilty plea can be used as evidence (a party admission) in a later civil or criminal case.  However, if you plead “no contest”, then your admissions can’t be used against you in later civil and criminal cases.


As an example, let’s say you were in a car accident.  You were texting and you ran into the car in front of you.  The officer charged you with “failure to control” or with texting while driving.  If you plead guilty or just pay the ticket (which is the same as pleading guilty), that guilty plea can be used against you if the person you hit sues you in small claims court.  If you plead “no contest”, that admission cannot be used against you in the civil case against you. 

Categories: General
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