No Contest Law & Legal Definition


Nolo contendre is a Latin term meaning "I will not contest" the charges, which is a plea made by a defendant to a criminal charge, allowing the judge to then find him/her guilty. It has the same effect as a plea of guilty, as far as the criminal sentence is concerned, but may not be considered as an admission of guilt for any other purpose.

A nolo contendre plea in a criminal case may not be used against the same person in a civil suit based on the same facts. It is often called a "plea of no contest." However, they may be required to be disclosed on certain applications, such as an employment or insurance application.

Nolo contendre pleas may also be entered by a defendant in traffic cases. A plea of nolo contendere does not expressly admit guilt but authorizes a court to treat you as if you were guilty.