10 Facts About the Nolo Contendere Plea in Georgia

Posted by Richard Lawson | Nov 02, 2016 | 0 Comments

1.  Is a nolo contendere the same as a conviction?

Technically no.  A nolo plea is a way to close a case without admitting guilt.  When someone enters a no contest plea, they are choosing to remain silent as to his or her guilt or innocence in order to close a traffic case.  Unlike with a guilty plea, a nolo plea cannot be used in a civil case against the accused. 

2.  Does a no contest plea save points from going on my MVR?

If the plea of nolo contendere was the first in the past five years, no points would be accessed on a Georgia Motor Vehicle Record.

3.  What is the difference between pleading nolo contendere and no contest?

They are synonymous. 

4.  Does a Judge have to accept a nolo plea in Georgia?

No.  A judge may reject a nolo plea for any legitimate reason.  The judge, however, cannot have a mechanical sentencing policy.  The judge must individually look at any petition to enter any plea.  Failure of a judge to exercise judicial discretion is grounds for the reversal of his or her decision.

5.  Will a no contest plea save a license for someone under 21 years of age?

Under most circumstances, a nolo plea in Georgia will not help a driver under the age of 21.

6.  How often can a person plead Nolo in Georgia?

Once every 5 years. 

7.  What happens if you plead no contest in traffic court?

If the plea is accepted, the judge will sentence the driver the same as if he or she had entered a guilty plea.  In most instances, the punishment would be payment of a fine.

8.  Can you plead no contest to a felony in Georgia?

Yes, you can.  It is, however, far less likely a judge would accept such a plea.  The reason is that a person should not plead to a felony charge without first admitted there is a factual basis for the plea.  Admission of guilt, to most judges, is part of the process of rehabilitation.  Admitting guilt also gives peace of mind and healing to victims. 

9.  Will my insurance company see a nolo conviction and hold it against me?

Yes.  Even though a person entering a no contest plea will not receive points on their MVR, the conviction will still be posted to the record.  As a result, an insurance company can see any plea on a person's record.  

10.  Can a nolo contendere plea be wasted?

Yes.  Some offenses do not need to be contested in any way.  For example, non-moving violations such as expired registration do not get reported to the Department of Driver Service.  Always speak to a Georgia Traffic Ticket Attorney before making any appearance in court. 

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Richard Lawson

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