Criminal Defense

Will Entering a No Contest Plea Keep a Criminal Conviction Off My Record?

Chandler | Conway

Chandler | Conway

Sunday March 20, 2011

The short answer is NO.  Pleading no contest instead of guilty will not keep something off your criminal record.  As discussed in previous posts, the purpose of a no contest plea is so that the specific case you are entering a plea in cannot be used against you in civil court.  For all other purposes, a “no contest” plea will be treated the same as a guilty plea.  An example of this is when someone is drunk, runs a red light and hits another vehicle.  The person who caused the accident would face criminal/traffic charges of DUI and failure to stop for a traffic signal.  That same person could also face a civil lawsuit from the person they struck with their car.  The victim, or person driving the car that was struck by the drunk driver who ran the red light, may sue in civil court for property damage and/or damages incurred as a result of personal injuries caused by the accident.  If the person who caused the accident pleads “guilty” in criminal court to DUI and/or running the red light, that plea can be used to prove guilt in a civil case brought by the individual that was driving the other car.  If the person pleads “no contest”, that plea cannot be used against them in a separate lawsuit for civil damages.  Long story short, in Nebraska, whether you plead guilty or no contest, the conviction will look the same on your record.

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