Different Pleas In Docket Sheets

Document the plea

Entering the no contest plea

A docket sheet is one that records all the events related to a particular order, usually in the chronological order. Docket sheets in a criminal case will document the plea that the defendant entered and how he responded to the charges against him. In the case of criminals, there are a few different pleas that an accused may choose to enter, as given below.

Not guilty

By making a ‘not guilty,’ the defendant out rightly denies all the charges made against him and the evidences constituting the case. In such a case, the prosecutor will have to prove the facts beyond a reasonable doubt. The defendant is entitled to fair jury trial if he enters a ‘not guilty’ plea, but does not have to be necessarily present any evidence. If the defendant does not enter into any plea by himself, then the court will enter a ‘not guilty’ plea on his behalf.

Guilty

In a guilty plea, the defendant admits to having committed the crime that he has been charged with. By entering such a plea, he gives up his right to a fair trial. The court may not acknowledge the guilty plea unless there are facts to show that the defendant entered such a plea knowingly and willingly. While making such a plea, the defendant should understand what this charge involves, the punishments that can be awarded and the different consequences.

No contest

A defendant who pleads to no contest does not admit to having committed the crime, but admits that there is enough evidence to get him convicted. The court does not hold a trial in case of a ‘no contest’ plea. For all practical purposes, the defendant is considered as guilty and the court may sentence him unless there is no crime at all. Otherwise, the prosecution does not necessarily have to prove the crime beyond doubt and the defendant does not necessarily have to prove his innocence either.

Alford plea

While comparing the Alford plea vs no contest, there is very little, that differentiates the two. By entering an Alford plea, the defendant pleads guilty while refusing his involvement in a crime, i.e., he pleads guilty, yet at the same time maintains his innocence as well.

Alford plea vs no contest

Consequences of entering the Alford plea

That was some information about the various pleas that a defendant may choose to enter when faced with criminal charges. Before entering a plea, it important that the defendant understand various pleas, the difference between the Alford plea vs no contest plea, the consequence of each plea, the punishments that may be awarded and various aspects like that.