No Contest Legal Terms
Nolo contendere is a legal term that comes from the Latin expression for „I do not want to argue”. It is also known as non-challenge advocacy. A plea of no challenge is like an admission of guilt. When the accused do not deny themselves, they technically admit that they are guilty of the crime with which they are charged. And they face the same jail time or jail time they would have if they pleaded guilty. 3 Note that if a defendant elects to plead guilty or not contest a criminal case, they may later withdraw that plea under California Penal Code 1018 PC. An admission of non-contestation is similar to an admission of guilt in that a defendant admits that he accepts a conviction for the prosecution. However, in cases of administrative offences, such plea cannot be invoked against a defendant as an admission of guilt in certain civil proceedings. A plea of non-contestation is also called a „nolo candidate”. In Alaska, a criminal conviction based on a Nolo Contendere plea may be used in future civil lawsuits against the defendant. The Alaska Supreme Court ruled in 2006 that „a conviction based on a plea of no challenge will deter the criminal defendant from denying any element of a subsequent civil suit against him that was necessarily supported by the conviction, as long as the previous conviction involved a serious crime and the defendant did have an opportunity for a full and fair hearing.”   N.
In criminal law, the plea of an accused in court that he will not deny the charge of a particular crime, also called Nolo Contendere. While not technically an admission of guilt for committing the crime, the judge will treat a confession of „no dispute” as such an admission and find the defendant guilty of the charges against him. A plea of no challenge is often made in cases where it is also possible that a person harmed by the criminal conduct may claim damages (e.g., reckless driving, assault with a weapon, grievous bodily harm), as it cannot be used as an admission of guilt in the civil action. The term „no contest” is also used when there has been a „plea” in which the accused does not mean that he is guilty, but accepts the sentence recommended by the prosecutor if he does not contest the charge (which is often reduced to a lesser crime). It is common for the judge to ask lawyers or the defendant, „Is there a factual basis for the plea?” before accepting it and finding the defendant guilty. In Florida, the Supreme Court ruled in 2005 that uncontested convictions can be treated as prior convictions for future convictions.  A second meaning of „no contest” refers to the will and intentions of the testator. A no-contest provision in a will provides that the gift or invention is given on the condition that no legal action is taken to challenge the will. If a legal challenge to the will is brought, the non-avoidance clause provides that the person bringing the action forfeitures the gift or invention. The purpose of the non-contestation clauses is to respond to the express will of the testator and to avoid disputes.
Nevertheless, many courts refuse not to apply avoidance clauses if the challenge is made in good faith and for probable cause. With admissions of guilt and no challenge, defendants generally acknowledge that their plea means they are waiving certain constitutional rights in forms called Tahl waivers. A disadvantage of a non-challenge plea is that it has the same legal effect as a sentencing conviction. Although an accused may expect some leniency in sentencing in order to save the court the time and costs of a trial or on the basis of an agreement reached with the prosecution, the court has the full range of sentences for the crime. Thus, an accused may receive the same sentence without the opportunity to offer a defence or a chance of acquittal by jury. A plea of no challenge prevents the court from provoking an accused`s admission of guilt, but the outcome of the motion for non-contestation of the charges against him is the same as if the defendant had admitted guilt. If a defendant does not deny a crime with which he or she is charged, except to question him or her role in the alleged offence, the court must proceed in the same manner as if the defendant had pleaded guilty.