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Criminal procedure

no contest plea

If a person charged with a criminal offense (crime) or an infraction or civil violation (a traffic ticket) enters a no-contest plea, the person does not admit their guilt, but admits the truth of the facts alleged by the government. A no-contest plea results in a conviction but may not be used against the person charged (the defendant) in a later civil lawsuit for money damages.

A no-contest plea means the defendant will not contest the charges against the defendant. This plea option is sometimes written as nolo contendere, which is the Latin term for “I do not wish to contend.”

The decision to plead no contest can have significant long-term consequences and a defendant should consult with a criminal defense lawyer before making such a decision.

In Texas, a no-contest plea, also known as a nolo contendere plea, is when a defendant in a criminal case acknowledges the prosecution's charges without admitting guilt and without disputing the facts of the case. This type of plea results in a conviction, similar to a guilty plea, but it cannot be used as an admission of fault in subsequent civil litigation over the same incident. However, it's important to note that for certain offenses, such as traffic violations, a no-contest plea may still be considered as an admission of guilt for the purposes of civil liability. The decision to enter a no-contest plea is a strategic one that can have various implications, and it is highly recommended that a defendant consult with an attorney to fully understand the potential consequences and to ensure that their rights are protected throughout the legal process.

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