Under our American system of justice, all persons are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty. On a plea of Not Guilty, a trial is held.
As in all criminal trials, the State must prove guilt of the offense charged in the complaint. If the State proves guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt,” the Defendant can be found guilty by a Judge or jury.
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.
If you plead Guilty or No Contest, you should be prepared to pay the fine. You should contact the Court regarding how to make payment.
Plea of Guilty
A plea of Guilty means you admit that you committed the act charged and the act is prohibited by law. Before entering your plea, however, you should understand the following:
- The State has the burden of proving that you violated the law (the law does not require that you prove you did not violate the law).
- You have the right to hear the State’s evidence and to require the State to prove you violated the law.
- A plea of guilty may be used against you later in a civil suit if there was a traffic accident (another party can say you were at fault or responsible for the accident because you pled guilty to the traffic charge).
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.
Also, a plea of No Contest may not be used against you in a subsequent civil suit for damages.
Plea of Not Guilty
A plea of Not Guilty means that you deny guilt and that the State must prove the charge that it filed against you. If you plead Not Guilty, 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.