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.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

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)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.

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.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006
References in periodicals archive ?
407, 409-10 (1952) (surveying the English common law origins of the plea of nolo contendere and collecting sources).
(8) The common-law plea of nolo contendere, which initially was unavailable in serious cases, (9) apparently was designed for this situation.
1997), the Third District Court of Appeal upheld a plea of nolo contendere to possession of cocaine and drug paraphernalia charges even though the sentencing judge did not inform the defendant that the plea could have deportation consequences.
A conviction, guilty plea or plea of nolo contendere to any crime, misdemeanor or felony should be reported.
No case shall be transferred to another county under this rule unless a plea of nolo contendere or guilty has been entered by the child on the charge being transferred, or until the transferring court has found the child committed the offense in question after an adjudicatory hearing in the county where the offense occurred.
(5) that if the defendant pleads guilty or is adjudged guilty after a plea of nolo contendere there will not be a further trial of any kind, so that by pleading guilty or nolo contendere he or she waives the fight to a trial;
(Admitted to practice: 1969) On April 5, Barley entered a plea of nolo contendere to one count of grand theft in an amount greater than $20,000, a second degree felony.