General Information and Definitions


When you plead “guilty," it is an admission to a violation of the law. At that time, a hearing will be scheduled by the court to give you an opportunity to state any facts or extenuating circumstances concerning the offense to which you have admitted guilt.


When you plead “not guilty,” you are entitled to a formal trial by the court or jury to establish the facts. You will be given a date and time for the trial. When your case comes to trial, the burden of proof rests with the prosecution and the charge to be sustained by the court must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.


When you plead “nolo contendre” or “no contest,” it means that you do not admit or deny the charge, but you are not contesting the charge. A person who pleads “Nolo contende” can be given the same sentence as if pleading guilty.