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Should I Ever Plea No Contest?

plea no contest

When charged with a crime, most people plead guilty or not guilty. However, in some instances, they may plead no contest. Essentially a guilty plea, it has the same legal ramifications. However, it can be beneficial, since it is not a formal admission of guilt, but rather a statement you are not going to fight the charges brought against you. When facing this situation, it’s best to work with an experienced MO Kansas City criminal defense attorney, such as John A. Picerno.

Can a Court Reject a No Contest Plea? 

When a no contest plea is entered, the court does not automatically accept it. Instead, the judge explains the ramifications of the plea, such as reminding you it is the same as a guilty plea, and punishment will be the same as if you had entered a guilty plea. In addition, the judge and prosecutor will both ensure the plea was not entered due to coercion. Once the judge and prosecutor are satisfied, a sentencing hearing will be scheduled to determine your punishment.

Benefits of a No Contest Plea 

When you are represented by criminal lawyers in Kansas City, they will advise you there are many benefits to entering a no contest plea. For many defendants, the biggest benefit is avoiding a trial, which can be lengthy and play out for all to see. Along with this, a no contest plea can be beneficial where civil action may be involved, such as driving under the influence. In most states, a no contest plea is a misdemeanor and it cannot be used against you in a civil case. Therefore, if you expect to be sued by a victim’s family, your no contest plea cannot be introduced during the civil case. However, if you were involved in a felony criminal case, your no contest plea is allowed to be used in the civil case.

If you face this legal dilemma, you need the best criminal defense KC MO has to offer, which is John A. Picerno. Rather than trust your case to an inexperienced attorney, let John give you advice you can trust.