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Nolo Contendere Georgia: Can I Use a Nolo Plea GA for DUI?

This article explores a defendant's options in criminal court for a plea of guilty, not guilty, or nolo contendere. Millions have pled nolo contendere without being fully informed what "good" it can do, and what it cannot help that person avoid in the future.

How a nolo contendere Georgia misdemeanor benefits most offenders. When a person enters a plea of guilty, then it is not just the driving record of that individual which will be beneficially impacted.

The nolo contendere lawyers at Kohn & Yager have offices in the metro Atlanta area, but they also cover all 159 counties in Georgia. Our lawyer network means we can appear in any traffic court in Georgia.

By using the more favorable "utility" of resolving a nolo contendere traffic ticket Georgia disposition, good things can happen. This article identifies those who can benefit the most, and others whose age or type of special license (i.e., a C.D.L. license) create bigger issues.

How to define nolo contendere. In Georgia, a nolo contendere plea involves acknowledging that a conviction will be entered on the person's record, without him or her confessing guilt. In the Peach State, these special types of pleas will require court approval.

What is the nolo contendere definition? In Georgia, pleading nolo contendere means the defendant does not dispute the pending charge or charges. A 'nolo contendere' plea asserts that the defendant does not desire to contest the veracity of the charges.

Be aware that a nolo contendere no contest plea is essentially the same as a guilty plea, in most aspects of the criminal procedure legal system. The benefits of pleading nolo in Georgia speeding ticket cases depends on several facts.

Law enforcement uses a radar gun to record how fast you are traveling on Georgia's highways. You will be pulled over for speeding if you go over the posted speed limit. We can fight these tickets.

Some first offender or underage criminal charges need legal assistance from a criminal defense attorney skilled in traffic ticket defense. The same goes for commercial drivers holding a CDL license, for whom certain tickets can end their employment.

Seeking Legal Guidance: The Role of an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

Consulting with a criminal defense attorney is crucial before deciding on a plea strategy, as they can thoroughly evaluate the specific circumstances around the case. A criminal defense attorney can provide expert guidance on whether to accept or reject a plea bargain by carefully assessing the strength of the prosecution's case and the potential ramifications on the client's criminal record.

A conviction for DUI stays on your criminal record for life with no possibility of expungement. This is true even for first DUI offenses.

Most citizens accused of minor traffic crimes don't bother hiring an attorney. Nonetheless, for numerous grave criminal accusations such as hit and run (departing from an accident scene involving occupied vehicles), trying to evade a police officer, DUI, and reckless driving are so severe that moving forward without a legal expert is often disastrous.

For many, the additional premiums they will pay their car insurance company over the next three or more years will far exceed the cost of a traffic ticket lawyer skilled in defending motor vehicle crimes.

The United States Constitution guarantees a free lawyer if you are indigent, so apply for an appointed attorney in all instances when facing serious motor vehicle crimes. Unlike golf, a person hitting the golf ball into a lake can put down another ball and try again (this is called "a Mulligan"), but the criminal justice system does not accommodate poor decision-making in the same way.

Georgia hit and run lawyer Cory Yager has improved the outcomes for many clients who were accused of fleeing the scene of an auto accident with injuries, or injuring a pedestrian.

Beyond considering a nolo contendere plea, an attorney can identify alternative legal options that may prove more beneficial for the client's situation. The role of an experienced criminal defense attorney is instrumental in navigating the complexities of plea decisions and ensuring the protection of the client's legal rights.

What a Nolo Contendere GA Plea Does for Those Who Plead Nolo Contendere

First, a nolo contendere plea in Georgia is an alternative to a guilty plea as it does not involve a formal admission of guilt. Various types of subsequent civil law proceedings can be favorably affected by this type of case outcome, including personal injury litigation and possible federal bankruptcy proceedings. The section of the federal bankruptcy code that bars the elimination of DUI-related debts is Section 523(a)(9).

Second, the nolo plea may or may not improve upon the criminal sentencing by the judge in that criminal case. Despite not admitting guilt, a defendant who pleads nolo contendere is sentenced as if they had pled guilty, without any admission or denial of the charges influencing the sentencing. So, diminishing punishment is not in any way assured or to be expected.

The GA Department of Driver Services or DDS keeps track of your traffic tickets and how many demerit points you carry on your driver's license. They can suspend your driving priveleges.

The common use of a nolo contendere speeding ticket Georgia. For misdemeanor traffic offenses in Georgia, a nolo contendere plea can prevent demerit points being added to that driver's DMV record at the Georgia Department of Driver Services (GA DDS). Georgia law does require the DDS GA to suspend a driver who accumulates too many demerit points, and youthful drivers under the age of 21 have a quicker path to these suspensions.

An Alford plea and a nolo contendere plea are different options to a guilty plea in the U.S. criminal justice system. They vary in terms of the defendant's admission of guilt and the impact on future legal proceedings.

Atlanta Traffic Ticket attorneys Bubba Head and Cory Yager have the highest rating AV Preeminent with Martindale-Hubbell. Let us represent you in traffic court.

Comparing an Alford plea vs Nolo Contendere Plea

First, we address what an "Alford" plea means. Initially, not all jurisdictions within the United States allow Alford pleas. For example, New Jersey, Indiana, and Michigan do not permit them.

The Alford plea originates from the U.S. Supreme Court case North Carolina v. Alford (1970), which allowed a defendant to plead guilty to avoid a harsher sentence (which would likely be imposed by taking up court time for a criminal jury trial) while the accused person still maintains her or his innocence.

So, such pleas allow an accused person to plead guilty while simultaneously asserting her or his innocence. The defendant acknowledges that the prosecution has enough evidence to likely secure a conviction but does not admit to the criminal act itself. In future civil litigation, that Alford plea would be taken as an admission of guilt, however.

Traffic Lawyer Larry Kohn has over 500 5-star Google reviews and has handled hundreds of DUI, criminal, and traffic offense cases for over 25 years.

Benefits, Limitations and Some Potential Unavoidable Uncertainties of a GA Nolo Plea

Entering a GA nolo contendere plea requires the judge's consent, which is not guaranteed and adds a layer of uncertainty to this defense strategy. With over 1000 different criminal courts operating in the Peach State, these questions are best vetted and answered by a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.

A nolo contendere plea in Georgia cannot be used as an admission of guilt in subsequent civil lawsuits, offering a strategic advantage by preventing a formal admission of guilt that could be detrimental in civil proceedings. With most judges in Georgia, that criminal defendant will receive the same consequences as if a guilty plea was entered.

Despite its non-admissibility in civil litigation court, a nolo contendere plea does not mean that the accused defendant will receive the same exact punishment, but some judges may give a more severe or less severe sentence. Some judges will reject the use of a nolo plea, especially in some cases involving more serious charges like driving under the influence, racing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer.

[Below Are Some Images of the Legal Publications Our Lawyers in Georgia Have Co-Authored.]

Bubba Head, Larry Kohn, and Cory Yager have written legal books on topics like DUI, drunk driving, and criminal defense.

In a drunk driving case, if a nolo is going to be offered, the strict rules and guidelines allowing a Judge to reject the nolo plea offer need to be read in OCGA Section 40-6-391.1. Prior to 1997, when the law was changed, thousands of “nolo” pleas to a DUI 1st offense occurred annually. This year, fewer than a couple of dozen may be granted statewide.

Significant Attorney Ratings Services That Are Legitimate

Atlanta criminal defense lawyers Cory Yager, Bubba Head, and Larry Kohn have over 90 years of collective courtroom litigation experience.

You'll usually come across fake "ratings" and badges on some law firm websites. However, only five services are trusted for their peer-reviewed attorney credentials within the U.S. criminal justice system. These are Martindale-Hubbell, AV-Preeminent rated for multiple years, Best Lawyers in America, Best Law Firms in America, Super Lawyers, and being Board Certification for DUI Defense through the ABA.

Our top DUI attorneys are proud to be recognized by all these law ratings. If you are seeking a traffic law attorney for your defense our legal team members invite you to read our client reviews and attorney recommendations.

We encourage you to take advantage of your FREE lawyer consultation and ask any questions you may have about these attorney ratings. In addition, we DO OFFER payment plans that most clients need for this unexpected expense. Call 404-567-5515, 24 hours a day.

Call (404) 567-5515 to sit down with one of our top traffic lawyers for a free consultation.
Client Reviews
Great lawyer helped me out a lot. Very attentive, made me feel comfortable and at ease!! Really knows his stuff - would use him anytime. M.L.
Mr. Larry Kohn could not have been more helpful. I sent him a message for a free consultation, and unfortunately my case had to be handled in another state. But he completely walked me through everything I needed to do, and even offered to assist the lawyer I did find in Virginia should they need help with my case. Jamie V.
Mr. Kohn is just amazing. He is truthful and realistic when explaining potential outcomes of your case and doesn’t force you to hire him or anything. When I met him, he went through everything about the case and ways to fight it off first before even telling me about his services. He got my case dismissed and kept me out of a lot of potential problems with school applications and future job opportunities. I highly recommend him to anyone. Anurag G.