A best interest plea means that a defendant does not admit guilt to any offense, but agrees that a guilty plea is in his best interest under the circumstances. The defendant is sentenced, while still able to disagree with the prosecutor's description of events. Under a best intererst plea, the criminal defendant does not admit the act, but admits that the prosecution could likely prove the charge. The court will pronounce the defendant guilty. The defendant may plead guilty yet not admit all the facts that comprise the crime. Such a plea allows defendant to plead guilty even while unable or unwilling to admit guilt.
One example is a situation where the defendant has no recollection of the pertinent events due to intoxication or amnesia. A defendant making a best interest plea maintains his innocence of the offense charged. One reason for making such a plea may be to avoid being convicted on a more serious charge. Acceptance of a best interest plea is in the court's discretion. It is also sometimes refered to as an Alford plea.