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What Does Pleading No Contest to a Criminal Charge Mean?

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At Lotze Mosley, LLP, our Washington D.C. and Maryland criminal defense attorneys know most people who have been charged with a crime are familiar with the plea terms “guilty” and “not guilty.” There is also the highly televised use of lacking the legal capacity to commit a crime, which means the person is not responsible because of insanity or mental deficiency.

A lesser-known plea used in defense cases is, “no contest.” Pleading no contest essentially tells the court the person will not challenge or contest the prosecution but is also not an admission of guilt nor an allegation that the person did not commit the crime.

In other words, if the case goes to trial, the defendant acknowledges that the prosecutor has enough facts to prove he or she is guilty.

What Are the Pros and Cons of a No Contest Plea?

Before you agree to any type of plea with the prosecution, it is important to discuss your unique criminal charges and circumstances with a skilled defense lawyer in Maryland or Washington D.C.

The pros of considering a no-contest plea include avoiding:

  • Mounting legal fees and court costs by going to trial.
  • Spending time worrying about the trial and its potential outcome.
  • Airing your charges publicly.
  • A potentially lengthy sentence as opposed to going to trial.

The cons of considering a no-contest plea include:

  • Giving up your right to a jury trial.
  • Receiving a conviction on your record.
  • Your plea can be referred to in a later criminal defense trial.
  • Rejections when seeking employment, applying for loans, living in certain locations, and child custody actions.
  • Public perception that you are guilty.

A skilled criminal defense attorney should review all criminal cases, so you understand your legal rights and options to pursue the best outcome for your unique case.

Should I Enter a No-Contest Plea During My Court Proceedings?

The best course of action when responding to criminal charges is to immediately contact our skilled defense attorneys in Washington D.C. and Maryland at Lotze Mosley, LLP by calling 202-393-0535. This will ensure your rights are protected from the beginning, so you can make informed decisions about your case.

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