Nolo Pleas for DUI Charges in Georgia
We hear people all the time say, “I'll just plead nolo” to my Georgia DUI charge so then no points go on my license. What they fail to understand is that a nolo plea is not always the best option for a DUI charge, and in fact, may be a big mistake. A DUI conviction has the potential to alter your life, and before you make any decisions, you need to discuss with a Georgia DUI Attorney. Our lawyers have been defending clients charged with DUI for over 25 years. We have the experience you need to make sure your rights and future are protected. Call us now for a free case evaluation.
What is a Nolo Plea?
A nolo plea is short for “nolo contendere” which means no contest. A nolo plea is an option for drivers instead of pleading guilty or not guilty. A plea of nolo allows a person to close their case without admitting guilt. You will still be punished like you did plead guilty, but when used appropriately, you can avoid receiving points on their license. Nolo pleas can only be used once every five years. Please note that nolo pleas can only be used by drivers 21 years of age or older.
When Should You Use a Nolo Plea in Georgia?
Nolo pleas are best used for offenses that result in points on your motor vehicle record. Offenses that nolo pleas are usually used for include speeding, following too closely, failure to maintain lane, no proof of insurance, and possession of marijuana. Since you can only use nolo once every five years, it is critical that you choose when you use it very sparingly.
As Georgia Traffic Ticket Lawyers, we urge you to contact us before choosing to plead nolo in court. There have been countless times where we have been able to work out a better deal for our clients than if they had used their nolo plea.
For example, if you received a ticket for going 14 miles under the speed limit, you should not plead nolo! Speeding less than 15 mph over the limit does not come with points on your license nor does it get reported to the Department of Driver Services. Therefore, a nolo plea would be wasted on that type of speeding charge.
Another example is for a disorderly conduct charge. We have seen people use their nolo plea for a disorderly conduct charge. However, if they had hired a lawyer, they could easily have gotten the disorderly conduct charge reduced to a city ordinance violation. City ordinance violations are never reported on a person's criminal or driving record.
Can I Plead Nolo to a Georgia DUI Charge?
While the short answer is yes, there is much to consider. Nolo pleas were common for DUI charges in Georgia until 1997 when the laws changed. After that, a person could still plead nolo for their DUI charge but they will face the same license consequences as if they pled guilty. Additionally, most Georgia judges will not accept a nolo plea for DUI charges.
If you have been charged with DUI and think nolo is a good option for you, we urge you to contact our Georgia DUI Lawyers today. A license suspension from a nolo plea will impact your life, but we know how to protect your driving privileges.
Additional Information about Nolo Pleas in Georgia
It is important to note that nolo pleas do come with some conditions.
- Nolo pleas do not prevent license suspensions connected to the charge itself.
- Nolo pleas are subject to the judge's approval. If a judge does not consent to your plea, you have to choose between pleading guilty or not guilty.
- Nolo pleas do not reduce the penalties for the charge. They just prevent the assessment of points on your license. This is important for people in danger of losing their license. An accumulation of 15 or more points on your license will result in a license suspension. Therefore, if you have 12 points on your license and receive a speeding ticket, it could be helpful for you to plead nolo to prevent a license suspension.
- If you were involved in a car accident and received a ticket for running a red light, it may be in your best interest to plead nolo. A nolo plea means that you are not admitting guilty for the crash and the other side will have to prove you were at fault for the crash.
Contact Our Georgia DUI Lawyers Today
Nolo pleas are much more complicated than people realize and it is essential that you understand what you are risking when pleading nolo. Our office is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week to answer your call! Before using your nolo plea, give our lawyers a call.