Getting a DWI in Texas is a very serious charge that requires a solid drunk driving defense to avoid potentially life-altering penalties.
Yet the fact remains that if the evidence is against you, it may not be possible to avoid conviction in which case your DWI lawyer may suggest a plea of no contest.
No contest does not avoid conviction but in some circumstances, it could, in some cases it could be a better outcome than a plea of guilty or being found guilty after a trial.
What Does It Mean to Plead No Contest in DWI?
A plea of no contest in a DWI case means that you are aware of the charges against you and willing to accept them as well as take responsibility for those charges; however, you are not actually admitting to being guilty.
Although it is a conviction, it is one that your attorney thinks might bring you more relaxed punishment if this plea is accepted by the court.
A plea of no contest may not be permissible in every situation; however, some defense lawyers find that it could be better in certain situations than pleading guilty,\ or going through a trial and being found guilty.
Are There Any Benefits to Pleading No Contest Over Guilty?
When considering a plea of no contest after your DWI attorney explains the various options, it means a few very important things.
It primarily means that you understand the charges filed against you, voluntarily give up any opportunity to let a trial determine your guilt, and accept the conviction of DWI but do not admit guilt.
This could be an optimal choice if you might face civil charges along with criminal charges as a guilty plea or verdict could significantly affect the outcome of a civil case.
It could also result in lower criminal penalties.
Are There Any Disadvantages to Pleading No Contest?
Before you consider pleading no contest in your DWI case, however, it’s essential that you also understand the significant disadvantages as explained by your drunk driving defense lawyer.
In pleading no contest, you will be unable to accept a plea bargain which could, in some cases, be more favorable than the punishment received with a plea of no contest.
Choosing no contest requires careful consideration by you and your lawyer to be very certain that the benefits of making this plea sufficiently outweigh the risks.
Although many believe no contest can somewhat protect you should after another DWI, this is not so because in the case of consecutive DWIs, no contest is the same as guilty and will be considered a second offense.
A conviction with a no contest plea will also appear on a criminal record just like a guilty plea or verdict.
Contact An Experienced DWI Lawyer
If you have been charged with DWI in Texas, work with a defense lawyer who has extensive experience in DWI cases who is experienced handling no contest pleas and plea bargaining, can accurately inform you of all possible resources for your case, and help you make an informed decision.