What Does Pleading No Contest Mean?

Pleading no contest is essentially saying you accept the punishment of a crime without admitting any guilt. These pleas are only possible under certain circumstances, and they depend on the facts of your case and the judge’s discretion. While pleading no contest may seem futile if you still have to accept the sentence and penalties, it can actually provide some benefits.

Here are two benefits pleading no contest may provide:

  1. It allows you to avoid admitting guilt. When you plead no contest, you are admitting the facts of the case but not any guilt. This is the main difference between pleading no contest and pleading guilty. In a guilty plea, you admit both the facts of your case and your guilt.
  2. It allows you to avoid trial. Pleading no contest allows you to avoid trial, and it also ensures your plea cannot be used against you in a later civil case. If you plead guilty, others may be able to use that against you at a later time if you are facing civil or criminal charges, but a no contest plea cannot be held against you in future civil proceedings.

While pleading no contest carries certain benefits, it is not always allowed. If your case meets the factual basis and the judge allows it, you may be able to pursue a no contest plea instead of a guilty plea. The factual basis means that the judge must find enough evidence to show you are not entering the plea when you are innocent, similar to the factual basis necessary for a judge to allow a guilty plea. Sometimes, however, judges do not require this and will allow the no contest plea.

It is important to remember that the sentencing and penalties for pleading no contest are the same as pleading guilty. Our Boston criminal defense lawyers at Brad Bailey Law can discuss your options and help determine the best course of action for your case. Our firm is dedicated to upholding our clients’ rights, and we can tenaciously fight for you as you seek a beneficial outcome.

For quality representation, contact our firm today.


Nationally Recognized

As Seen On: 
  • Super Lawyer 2022
  • Avvo Rating 10
  • AV Preeminent Martindale-Hubbell
  • Best Lawyers 2022 - Brad Bailey
  • WGBH
  • 790 KABC
  • 7 WHDW
  • CNN
  • FOX 25
  • NBC Nightly News
  • NBC
  • iHeart Radio
  • 90.9 wbur
  • NPR
  • KTLA
  • Boston 25
  • New England Cable News

Free Consultation

See How Our Award-Winning Attorney Can Fight for You
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.