Should You Plead Nolo Contendere For Your Traffic Ticket? - ADA Blog

Should You Plead Nolo Contendere For Your Traffic Ticket?

by Aaron Delgado
02/03/22 (Updated: 04/01/22)

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?

Entering a Plea: What It Means

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.

What Does a Nolo Plea Mean?

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:

  • If you plead guilty, you are saying that you did it and you agree to face whatever punishment comes with the action you admit to doing.
  • If you plead no contest, you are saying that you make no admission of guilt; however, you agree to deal with whatever fine or punishment is associated with whatever it was you are charged with.

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.

What Are the Implications of a Nolo Plea?

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:

  • By entering a plea of no contest, you are not saying you are guilty. Therefore, if the case comes up later, you can legally claim that you never admitted your guilt.
  • Keep in mind that entering a no-contest plea can open you up to a wide variety of punishments. If you receive a speeding ticket, you may still have to pay a fine. If you are charged with something more serious, you may have other punishments that could come your way. You need to talk to your lawyer about potential punishments that could be associated with your ticket.
  • There is a possibility that you could enter a no-contest plea as part of a plea agreement. For example, if you are afraid of your insurance rates going up, you might be able to enter a plea of no contest in exchange for attending traffic school before your traffic ticket is reduced to a non-moving violation. This might be preferable to pleading guilty, because you do not necessarily have to admit your guilt.

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.

Should You Plead Nolo Contendere?

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.

Reach Out To Aaron Delgado and Associates for Help With a Traffic Ticket in Florida

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.

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