no contest or guilty?

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by deathstardisco, Nov 5, 2006.

  1. deathstardisco deathstardisco

    • New Member
    • Since: Feb 22, 2006
    • Posts: 80
    i have a court case in a few days for possessoin of tobacco and possession of marijuana. im a minor and i live in california. the only tobacco i had on me was the cigarette i was smoking, and i had about half a gram of weed on me, and i had my pipe. i know i will lose the case, so should i plead no contest or guilty? which will result in a lighter punishment?
  2. phuzz01 phuzz01

    • Sr. Member
    • Since: Jan 7, 2001
    • Posts: 1,830
    Effectively speaking, a plea of no contest and a plea of guilty are going to be exactly the same for you. The only difference is that a plea of no contest cannot be used against you in a civil proceeding (i.e. lawsuit).

    To give you an example, let's say you are driving drunk, you run a red light, and you hit a minivan full of kids. If you plead guilty, then the people in the minivan can use the fact that you plead guilty as evidence against you in their lawsuit. If you plead no contest, you are saying that you are not contesting the charges against you, but you are not acknowledging guilt. You will still be FOUND guilty, but the minivan family's lawyer cannot say in civil court that you "admitted" to driving drunk and running the red light.

    Chances are, you are not going to be sued by anyone because you possessed marijuana. So that is a moot point. Whether you enter a plea of guilty or a plea of no contest, the judge is still going to FIND you guilty. So in the end, it is going to be the same. Hope this helps.
  3. Zubi420 Zubi420

    • Guest
    • Since:
    • Posts: 0
    I'd say plead guilty. In California? Probably a fine of a hundred or few hundred dollars for first time or second time. Nothing more garenteed;) :) . But be prepared to get a huge yelling by your parents if they don't approve or don't know about your use of marijuana or tobacco, they just have to be against one to be angry you know;) .
  4. phuzz01 phuzz01

    • Sr. Member
    • Since: Jan 7, 2001
    • Posts: 1,830
    I just had an example in court yesterday which illuminates the difference between a plea of guilty, and a plea of nolo contendere (or no contest). A while back, I responded to a domestic disturbance. The female party was incredibly intoxicated, and during the course of the disturbance, she bit the male party on the chest and threw a beer can through a kitchen window, breaking it. She was charged with assault for the bite, and criminal mischief for breaking the window.

    When I spoke to her attorney in court yesterday, he told me that she remembers breaking the window. Therefore, she plead guilty to the criminal mischief charge. However, probably due to her high level of intoxication, she did not remember biting the male party. So, she did not feel comfortable pleading guilty to the assault. Still, she admitted that there was clearly enough evidence to convict her of the assault (male party's testimony, my testimony, and pictures of the bite mark). So, she plead nolo to the charge, and she was found guilty.

    When you plead guilty in court, you are saying that you affirmatively did do what you are being charged with. When you plead nolo, you are not saying that you affirmatively did do it, but you are conceding that there is enough evidence to convict you of the charge. So, you are not contesting the charge. Either way, the judge will officially find you GUILTY, and sentence you accordingly.

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