Can a person plead Nolo to a DUI in Georgia?
During the first two years of my legal career, a person could plead “Nolo” to DUI under certain circumstances. The no contest plea would save their driver's license, and a person could honestly answer that rather than being convicted, they choose not to fight their charges.
Since July 1997, the efficacy of the "Nolo" plea has been effectually stripped from Georgia law, except one instance. When a person is subject to a civil lawsuit as a result of a DUI accident, a plea to nolo contendere allows a person to close their criminal case without making an admission of guilt.
When a person pleads guilty to DUI, they are virtually admitting civil liability as well. However, a case closed by a no contest plea reveals nothing. As a result, a person can strategically decide to close their criminal case while still contesting civil liability.
That all being said, most judges are sophisticated enough to understand this legal strategy. The result is (for the most part) the end of he “Nolo” plea to DUI in Georgia.
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