What is a No Contest Plea in Houston, TX?

26 Oct 2022
Greco Neyland, PC

A “no contest” plea deal is often used as a plot device in the media, but the use of this particular plea is pretty rare.

There are a few recent cases where it’s come up.

Here’s what you need to know.

What a No Contest Plea Means

It means you’re neither admitting guilt nor declaring innocence. You’re simply accepting the charges.

A “no contest” plea provides very few advantages to a criminal defendant in Houston, TX. While it means you are not admitting guilt or fault for the alleged crime, it nevertheless leads to a criminal trial just like a guilty plea does. A no contest plea will not lead to a lighter sentence, nor will it lead to more reasonable doubt.

They are not allowed in Texas felony cases. Plus, a Texas judge or prosecutor may refuse the no contest plea. A no contest plea may also bar you from accepting a plea bargain later, though in some cases prosecutors allow a no contest plea as part of the plea bargain.

While we don’t think rushing you to a plea bargain is in your best interests, there are specific situations where a plea bargain is going to be the best option in your case.

Why use a no contest plea?

The only thing it protects you from are civil cases which can arise from the same set of circumstances. A no contest plea cannot be used as evidence against you in a civil trial. This is one reason why they’re banned in felony cases. Texas courts want to prevent you from dodging civil responsibility in cases where the damages are likely to be very high.

If you are innocent, you should usually plead “innocent”, but it’s important to ask your Houston, TX criminal lawyer for specific guidance in your case.

Never make a plea without talking to a criminal lawyer!

You should have a criminal lawyer in place prior to your arraignment, which is where you enter your official plea into the court system.

You want a lawyer who is going to give your case the full consideration and investigation it deserves. Our team is ready to help.

If you’re in trouble, don’t wait. Call Greco Neyland today.

See also:

Why Houston, TX Defense Lawyers Accept Guilty Clients

5 Mistakes You Need to Avoid in Your Houston, TX Criminal Case

How Do Plea Bargains Work in Houston, TX?

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