Entering a Plea
- Plea of Guilty: By a plea of guilty, you admit that you committed the criminal offense charged.
- Plea of Nolo Contendere (no contest): A plea of no contest means that you do not contest the State’s charge against you.
- Plea of Not Guilty: A plea of not guilty means that you deny guilt and require the State to prove the charge. A plea of not guilty does not waive any of your rights. A plea of not guilty does not prevent a plea of guilty or no contest prior to trial.
The difference between a plea of guilty and no contest is that the no contest plea may not later be used against you in a civil suit for damages.For example, in a civil suit arising from a traffic crash, a guilty plea can be used as evidence of your responsibility or fault.
If you plead guilty or no contest, or are found guilty by a judge, you should be prepared to pay your fine and costs in full. If you are unable to pay in full, you should be prepared to document and explain your financial situation.
How to Enter a Plea of Not Guilty
- You may appear in person or you may appear by mail by completing the plea form on this website under forms.
- The plea form must be received before your appearance date on your citation.
- If you choose to appear by mail you must include a self addressed envelope.
Please Note: Persons entering a plea of not guilty are not eligible for Defensive Driving or Deferred Disposition.
After a Plea of Not Guilty
The Court will place your case on a Pretrial Docket where the following may occur:
- You may waive a jury trial and request a Court Trial.
- You may file motions.
- You may speak with the prosecutor if you choose to do so.
- You may be required to post a bond to ensure your appearance at trial.
- You may be scheduled for a Jury Trial or Court Trial date.
- You may no longer be eligible for a driver safety course or deferred disposition if your case is set for a Jury Trial or Court Trial.
- The request must be in person, by counsel, by certified mail or by Email. (If under 17, you must appear in open court with a parent or guardian to make the request.)