By a plea of guilty, you admit that the act is prohibited by law, that you committed the act charged, and that you have no defense or excuse for your act. Before entering your plea of guilty, 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; and
- 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 charges.)
A plea of nolo contendere means that you do not contest the State’s charge against you. You will almost certainly be found guilty unless you are eligible and successfully complete a driving safety course and/or court-ordered probation. Also, a plea of nolo contendere cannot be used against you in a subsequent civil suit for damages.
Plea of Not Guilty
A plea of not guilty means that you are informing the Court that you deny guilt or that you have a defense in your case, and that the State must prove what it has charged against you. If you plead not guilty, you will need to decide whether to hire an attorney to represent you. You MUST appear before the Judge on the date and time printed on your citation. If you do not appear when required, a Failure to Appear charge may be filed and warrants may be issued for your arrest.