Nolo Contendere Plea

Nolo Contendere Plea
With a nolo contendere plea, the defendant is not requested by the court to apologize, or allocute, for his or her actions. This is something that may be requested in other cases in exchange for a reduced sentence. For instance, if a victim is injured due to a defendant’s behavior, typically a formal apology is made by the defendant to the victim and his or her family. In a no contest plea, this is not required as it would essentially be an admission of guilt.

It is unlikely that the court will allow you to enter a nolo contendere plea while at the same time firmly asserting your innocence. This type of plea is known as an Alford plea, based on a 1963 murder case in North Carolina. The defendant pled guilty to second-degree murder to avoid the death penalty, but still vocalized his innocence. Neither the nolo contendere plea nor the Alford plea could later be used in a civil action as evidence against the defendant.

Restrictions on pleading no contest vary between states, and in some jurisdictions it is prohibited. Learn about implied consent,

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