If you have received a traffic ticket, you are probably frustrated. You might have been on your way to work or school, only to see flashing lights behind you. Then, just like that, your day is ruined because you have received a traffic ticket. You may want to deal with the ticket as quickly as possible, so you might be tempted to go online and pay it immediately.
This is something you should not do. You should always consult with a legal professional before you decide to pay your traffic ticket. For example, you might be wondering if you should enter a plea of nolo contendere for your traffic ticket. What does this mean, and how might it impact your traffic ticket in Florida?
Because you should not pay your traffic ticket immediately, you may end up going to court. When you go before the judge, you have to enter a plea. You have three options, which are guilty, not guilty, or no contest. A no-contest plea is a nolo contendere plea. You are only allowed to select one of these options, so you need to think carefully. You should talk to a lawyer to decide which is best for you.
If you decide to enter a plea of not guilty, the judge will go ahead and set your case for trial. You do not want to elaborate on anything when you enter a plea, and the discussion will end as soon as you say you are not guilty. Keep in mind that you can change your plea later, so you may want to start off by entering a plea of not guilty before you talk about the issue further with your lawyer.
If you decide to enter a guilty plea, you are admitting that you are guilty of whatever you have been charged with. If you get a ticket for rolling through a stop sign, you admit that you rolled through the stop sign, and you will be ordered to pay whatever penalty is associated with the ticket. Usually, this means paying a fine. The judge may also decide to ask you to attend traffic school to learn how to drive safely.
You do not necessarily have to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. You may decide to enter a nolo contendere plea. This is a no-contest plea. Essentially, it has the same consequences as a guilty plea with a few technical differences. If you enter a plea of no contest, you agree that you accept whatever punishment comes with the charge except that you do not admit you are technically guilty.
This can be a bit confusing, so it is helpful to take a look at a few quick points below:
Clearly, this is a decision that you need to consider carefully. You can open yourself up to a wide variety of punishments, and you might surrender your right to take the case to trial. Therefore, do not forget to talk about this with a lawyer before you decide to move forward.
When you first go before the judge, it is usually safer to enter a plea of not guilty. That way, you buy yourself time to review the circumstances of your case, go through the evidence, and decide how you would like to proceed. Remember that you can work with a lawyer to change your plea later.
If you decide to enter a plea of no contest, there are a few implications you should keep in mind. They include:
These are just a few of the most important points you need to keep in mind if you are thinking about entering a no-contest plea. Again, every case is different, and you need to talk about yours with a lawyer before you move forward.
So, should you plead nolo contendere? You need to take a close look at your case with your lawyer. For example, your lawyer may feel like the prosecution does not have enough evidence to win a case against you. Therefore, your lawyer may advise you to plead not guilty and take the case to trial.
In other cases, your lawyer may not know exactly how your case will play out. Your lawyer may feel like you can get a good deal if you decide to plead no contest. You do not have to say you are guilty, and you get to resolve your case more quickly.
If you have received a traffic ticket in Florida, it is important for you to talk about your case with a lawyer. At Aaron Delgado and Associates, we have a tremendous amount of experience dealing with a wide variety of traffic tickets.
We will take a close look at your case, assess its merits, and work with you to defend your rights. Contact us today for a case consultation. Make sure that your rights are protected.