nolo contendere

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Nolo Contendere

[Latin, I will not contest it.] A plea in a criminal case by which the defendant answers the charges made in the indictment by declining to dispute or admit the fact of his or her guilt.

The defendant who pleads nolo contendere submits for a udgment fixing a fine or sentence the same as if he or she had pleaded guilty. The difference is that a plea of nolo contendere cannot later be used to prove wrongdoing in a civil suit for monetary damages, but a plea of guilty can. Nolo contendere is especially popular in antitrust actions, such as price-fixing cases, where it is very likely that civil actions for treble damages will be started after the defendant has been successfully prosecuted.

A plea of nolo contendere may be entered only with the permission of the court, and the court should accept it only after weighing its effect on the parties, the public, and the administration of justice.

nolo contendere

(no-low kahn-ten-durr-ray) n. Latin for "I will not contest" the charges which is a plea made by a defendant to a criminal charge, allowing the judge to then find him/her guilty, often called a "plea of no contest." (See: no contest)

nolo contendere

‘it is not intended to contend’, a plea permissible in certain US jurisdictions whereby a person accused of a crime can be disposed of without, however, the accused admitting his guilt. It is not allowed in the UK, and pleas of convenience - ‘I can't be bothered fighting this and would like to get it over with’ - are frowned upon and usually treated as pleas of not guilty, resulting in the case having to proceed to a trial.