In Georgia criminal cases, you have the option of pleading guilty, not guilty, or nolo contendere, which is the Latin phrase for no contest. Although a no contest plea will have many of the same repercussions as a guilty plea, it can also have benefits in certain types of cases.
What Does No Contest Mean?
Essentially, a plea of no contest means that you do not admit to committing the alleged crime, but that you do not wish to contest or fight the charges either.
The biggest benefit of a no contest plea is that it cannot be used against you in a civil case. For example, if someone was injured as a result of a DUI that you were involved in, that person may try to sue you in civil court for damages. If you plead guilty to the criminal charge of DUI, the victim can use that plea to hold you liable in the civil case. However, if you plead no contest to the DUI, the victim will have to prove your guilt in the civil case.
Penalties for Pleading No Contest
For most criminal charges, a no contest plea will render the same punishments as a guilty plea. However, in certain cases, a no contest plea may result in lighter punishments.
No Contest in Georgia
Most jurisdictions in Georgia will allow you only one no contest plea every five years, although some judges may allow you one no contest plea per charge every five years. In all cases, the presiding judge must approve your request to plead no contest.
More About No Contest in Savannah/Chatham County, Georgia
To learn more about pleading no contest in Savannah and Chatham County or to schedule a free initial case consultation, contact the attorneys of The Turner Firm today.