Legal Terminology of Nolo Contendere
In Alaska, a criminal conviction based on a Nolo Contendere plea may be used in future civil lawsuits against the defendant. The Alaska Supreme Court ruled in 2006 that „a conviction based on a plea of no challenge will deter the criminal defendant from denying any element of a subsequent civil suit against him that was necessarily supported by the conviction, as long as the previous conviction involved a serious crime and the defendant did have an opportunity for a full and fair hearing.”   With a nolo contendere plea, the accused does not accept or deny responsibility for the act that led to the criminal charge. Instead, the accused accepts the sentence for convicting the crime without admitting guilt. The accused also avoids a lengthy – and possibly unsuccessful – trial if he has denied the charge with a plea of not guilty. You may have heard of a „nolo contendere” plea agreement when it comes to court cases involving a criminal complaint. In Latin, nolo contendere means „I don`t want to argue.” Most often, the term simply means „no competition.” No competition. A plea bargain has the same effect as an admission of guilt with respect to the criminal conviction, but cannot be considered an admission of guilt for other purposes. In California, a Nolo Contendere plea is known as West Plea, after a landmark case involving plea bargaining, People v. West (1970) 3 Cal.3d 595. The Conseil d`État de la pharmacie considers that a plea raised by nolo contendere constitutes a condemnation relating to the licensing of pharmacies, pharmacists and pharmaceutical wholesalers.
In criminal proceedings in some U.S. jurisdictions, this is a plea in which the defendant neither admits nor denies an indictment, which is an alternative to guilty or not guilty pleas. While a plea of no challenge is not technically an admission of guilt, it generally has the same immediate effect as an admission of guilt and is often offered as part of a plea.  In many jurisdictions, a nolo contendere plea is not a typical right and includes various restrictions on its use. In Texas, the right to appeal the results of a plea arising from a plea by Nolo Contendere or „guilty” is severely restricted. Defendants who have entered a nolo contendere plea may appeal the court`s judgment only if the appeal is based on pre-trial written motions on which the court has ruled.  An example surfaced recently when former UFC champion Jon Jones Nolo Contendere argued in a Las Vegas, NV court for destroying someone else`s property. For more information on our contendre, see this article from Cornell Law Review, this article from Cornell Law Review, and this article from University of Florida Law Review. An objection of the nolo contendere can only be submitted with the permission of the court and the court should only accept it after weighing its impact on the parties, the public and the administration of justice. Texas is among the states that allow a Nolo Contendere plea when facing trial on a state criminal charge.
However, if you litigate nolo contendere – or no dispute – in criminal court, this claim cannot be brought against you in related civil proceedings. The defendant who invokes nolo contendere seeks a fine or sentence imposed in the same manner as if he had pleaded guilty. The difference is that a nolo contendere plea cannot later be used to prove wrongdoing in a civil action for financial damages, but an admission of guilt can. Nolo Contendere is particularly popular in antitrust proceedings, such as price-fixing, where it is very likely that civil actions for triple damages will be brought after the defendant has been successfully sued. A Nolo Contendere plea for a crime is considered exactly equivalent to an admission of guilt for the purposes of civil actions; This objection of non-crime is not admissible in a civil action.  Nolo contendere is a legal term derived from the Latin expression for „I do not want to argue”. It is also known as non-challenge advocacy. Some states do not allow defendants to apply to the court for permission to plead for Nolo Contendere. In federal cases, the Federal Code of Criminal Procedure permits such pleadings with the permission of the court.
Whether the charges are a sex crime, child pornography, assault, domestic violence or other crimes, we are prepared to fight for the legal rights of individuals in Houston and throughout Harris County, as well as Fort Bend County and Montgomery County. Contact us today and let`s get started. Under the federal rules of evidence, and in states with similar or identical rules of evidence, Nolo Contendere pleadings cannot be used to circumvent the hearsay ban if they are presented as an „admission by an adversary.”  Assuming that the charge is reasonably serious and that all other things are equal, an admission of guilt by the same charge would have the opposite effect: an opponent of the court could present the hearsay plea as evidence to establish a particular fact.  By not contesting in court, the accused (or accused) accepts a conviction, but does not admit guilt for the crime. In a way, a Nolo Contendere plea is tantamount to admitting guilt without actually admitting it. This means that the accused faces the same fundamental consequences of a guilty verdict for a criminal complaint, but without going through a trial and without admitting guilt. n. In criminal law, the plea of an accused in court that he will not deny the charge of a specific crime, also called Nolo Contendere. While not technically an admission of guilt for committing the crime, the judge will treat a confession of „no dispute” as such an admission and find the defendant guilty of the charges against him. A plea of no challenge is often made in cases where it is also possible that a person harmed by the criminal conduct may claim damages (e.g., reckless driving, assault with a weapon, grievous bodily harm), as it cannot be used as an admission of guilt in the civil action. The term „no contest” is also used when there has been a „plea” in which the accused does not mean that he is guilty, but accepts the sentence recommended by the prosecutor if he does not contest the charge (which is often reduced to a lesser crime).
It is common for the judge to ask lawyers or the defendant, „Is there a factual basis for the plea?” before accepting it and finding the defendant guilty. Virginia`s rules of evidence differ from parallel federal regulations in that a Nolo Contendere plea filed in a criminal proceeding is admissible in a related civil proceeding. [ref. needed] In Michigan, „a Nolo Contendere plea does not plead guilty, it simply tells the court that the criminal defendant does not want to deny the state`s allegations and will tolerate sentencing.” Lichon v. American Universal Insurance Co., 435 Mich 408, 417 (1990). A Nolo Contendere plea may be appropriate „if the defendant would not be able to provide sufficient factual basis for an admission of guilt because he was drunk on the night of the incident, if there is a possibility of future civil prosecution for the crime, or if a defendant does not recall the events that led to his or her indictment for a crime.” 1A Gillespie Michigan Criminal Law & Procedure, § 16:15. A Nolo Contendere plea has the same immediate effects as an admission of guilt, but may have other residual effects or consequences in future actions. For example, a conviction resulting from a Nolo Contendere plea is subject to all penalties, fines and forfeitures of a conviction arising from an admission of guilt in the same case and may be considered an aggravating circumstance for future offences.
However, contrary to an admission of guilt, a defendant in a Nolo Contendere plea cannot be required to assign charges. This means that a Nolo Contendere conviction cannot generally be used to determine negligence per se, malice or whether the acts were committed in subsequent civil proceedings involving the same facts as the prosecution.  In Commonwealth countries – such as England and Wales, Canada and Australia – Nolo Contendere`s objection is not allowed. The accused must plead „guilty” or „not guilty”. If a defendant refuses to plead, the court will record a plea of „not guilty.”  No competition; Latin for „I will not argue.” A nolo contendere plea has the same effect on a criminal conviction as an admission of guilt, but should not be understood as an admission of guilt for other purposes. For example, a person could invoke nolo contendere and pay a fine or serve a prison sentence as if they were guilty, but if they were prosecuted in a civil case after that, the other party would still have to prove that the person was guilty. In the United States, state law determines whether and under what circumstances a defendant cannot litigate a dispute in state criminal cases. In federal courts, the Code of Criminal Procedure permits the filing of a Nolo Contendere plea only with the consent of the court; Before accepting the plea, the court must „consider the views of the parties and the public interest in the effective administration of justice.”  Another advantage of the defendant`s failure to challenge in criminal proceedings is that he or she avoids having an admission of guilt against him or her used in another cause of action, such as a civil action for damages.