Difference Between Alford Plea And Nolo Contendere

Alford plea vs No Contest, concept of “No contest”

Alford plea vs No Contest

A plea is a term very often connected with legal procedures. Here, it is a statement made by a defendant in response to a complaint filed by the plaintiff. The defendant has the full right to make a plea statement in order to defend against the charges held against him/her. There are two main plea statements  that we’ll discuss here: the Alford plea and the  Nolo Contendere plea.

The Nolo Contendere plea is also known as the “No Contest” plea. This article compare the two, and find the differences while considering Alford plea vs No Contest plea. Most people go in for making one of these pleas when accused of a crime, and when the “no guilty” plea isn’t a viable option.

Alford plea vs No Contest plea

In an Alford plea the offender accepts only that the prosecution would be able to prove the charges, and not that he is guilty of them. For example, imagine a situation in which the  defendant has gone through a physical or mental illness that resulted in temporary memory loss. In such a situation the defendant can come up with an Alford plea. The defendant can partially or fully  attack charges made against him/her, on the grounds that the particular event did not take place, or that he/she cannot recollect the same. In most practical scenarios, Alford pleas are made to prove the “innocence” of the offender, so as to get him away with minimum punishment. If the evidences provided by the prosecution are not strong enough, this can favor the  defendant. It is not necessary that the court should accept each and every Alford plea made by the defendant. The rejection or the approval of the same is left to the discretion of the court.

Alford plea vs No Contest, concept of “No contest”

Alford plea and No Contest scenarios

No Contest plea

The concept of “No contest” plea is quite plain, because the defendant may accept the punishment awarded to him/her without accepting the charges held. Here, the true scenario of the crime will not be evident, as the offender may not admit the charges, or admit to the crime. The defendant will go through all the normal  legal formalities associated with a  normal conviction. But the legal formalities connected with “No Contest” plea can become complicated.The “No contest” plea is not valid in certain states of America. A perfect example is the state of Minnesota.

These are the minor differences between the Alford and Nolo Contendere pleas. Hope you have benefited from the same.