The Difference Between Pleading Guilty or Pleading No Contest for Traffic Tickets

Written by:Julian Stroleny PortraitJulian Stroleny

Getting a traffic ticket is the bane of every driver’s existence. The grueling process of being pulled over, interrogated, and later on having to appear in court is something every driver tries to avoid. The threat of a court date or paying a fine is something most drivers have developed a natural aversion to.

Receiving a traffic ticket means that you have been accused of violating the law. That is, you have violated traffic regulations. If you have recently received a ticket, consult with a defense attorney in Miami to understand the traffic regulation statutes in your jurisdiction. This can help you understand how to plea later on.

Stating Your Plea

There are various ways to state your plea. In deciding over what plea to take, most defendants confuse  pleading guilty and pleading no contest. Here we will help you by explaining the main differences between pleading guilty and pleading no contest. The distinction is simple:

  • Pleading Guilty

When you plead guilty, you are admitting guilt to the offense/s that you have been charged with. In other words, you committed the crime in question. This means that you are also willing to accept punishment for the offenses you have been accused of.

  • Pleading No Contest (Nolo Contendre)

When you plead no contest, you accept the charges, similarly through a guilty plea. However, this does not mean that you admit responsibility for the offense/s committed. According to it’s Latin translation, nolo contendre literally means “I do not wish to contest.”

You deny accountability for the charges but agree to accept a punishment. In a way, you are neither denying nor admitting fault. This is the reason why it can be in a defendant’s best interest to plead no contest. And the main reason why most defendants do.

Why You Should Plead No Contest

Most traffic violation cases can result in negotiations through a no contest plea. A Miami criminal lawyer will tell you that pleading no contest can be beneficial to a defendant. Entering a plea of no contest positions the defendant to leverage the ruling to be less severe.

A plea of no contest can:

  • Prevent the plea from being used against the defendant in a subsequent civil or criminal proceeding.
  • Appeal adverse rulings against him or her by the court (Denying a motion to suppress, allowing particular evidence to be presented by the prosecutor, etc..).
  • Prevent the mention of an admission of guilt in a civil damages suit.

Pleading guilty can be used against the defendant later on. In a plea agreement, a prosecutor might even require the defendant to plead guilty. This is why you will need a Miami criminal defense attorney to negotiate fair terms for your case. Do not take your demands lightly — assert your terms and negotiate for a win-win agreement.

What Happens To My Traffic Ticket?

It is always under the discretion of a criminal judge whether the defendant will be required to plead guilty.  Most judges usually permit a defendant to plead no contest. The rejection of a plea of no contest is rare at most. However, this does not prevent the possibility of a conviction still appearing on your criminal record.

Consult with a criminal defense lawyer in Miami to find out what they can do about your traffic tickets. Keep in mind that your best defense is only as good as your legal team.

Stroleny Law: Criminal Defense Attorney handles a variety of criminal law cases, so call now if you have any questions.

View more contact information here: Criminal Lawyer in Miami.

Request a Free Case Evaluation

Fill out the form below and we will respond to you shortly.

The materials on this web site are intended for informational purposes only. The materials on this Web site are not intended to be, nor should they be interpreted as, legal advice or opinion. The reader should not consider this information to be an invitation to an attorney client relationship, should not rely on information presented here for any purpose, and should always seek the legal advice of counsel in the appropriate jurisdiction. Transmission and receipt of the information in this site and/or communication with the Firm via e-mail is not intended to solicit or create, and does not create, an attorney-client relationship between the Firm and any person or entity.