Under our American system of justice, all persons are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty.
Your decision concerning which plea to enter is very important. You should read the following explanation of all three types of pleas and think carefully before making your decision.
Plea of Not Guilty
A plea of “not guilty” does not waive any of your rights. It does not prevent a plea of “guilty” or “no contest” at a later time.
You need to decide if you will hire an attorney to represent you or if you will represent yourself. If you represent yourself, the Trial Information page may help you understand your rights and trial procedure.
If the State proves guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt,” the defendant can be found guilty by a judge or jury.
Plea of Guilty
A plea of “guilty” means you admit that you committed the offense filed and that it is prohibited by law. You will be found guilty, unless you are eligible and successfully complete a driving safety course and/or court ordered deferral.
Plea of No Contest
A plea of “no contest” means that you do not contest the State’s charge against you. You will be found guilty, unless you are eligible and successfully complete a driving safety course and/or court ordered deferral.
The difference between a plea of “guilty” and “no contest” is that the “no contest” plea may not later be used against you in a civil suit for damages. For example, in a civil suit arising from a traffic crash, a “guilty” plea can be used as evidence of your responsibility or fault.
- you will be found guilty
- should be prepared to pay the fine
- waives all of the trial rights discussed earlier