Under our system of justice, all persons are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty. On a plea of not guilty, a formal trial is held. As in all criminal trials, the State is required to prove the guilt of a defendant "beyond a reasonable doubt" of the offense charged in the complaint before a defendant can be found guilty by a judge or jury.
Your decision concerning which plea to enter is very important. Please consider each plea carefully before making a decision. If you plead guilty or no contest, you should be prepared to pay the fines and court costs. The court will inform you regarding the fine payment requirements.
Plea of Guilty
You admit that you committed the act charged and that the act is prohibited by law, and that you have no defense or excuse for your act. Before entering your plea of guilty, you should understand that a plea of guilty may be used against you in a civil suit.
Plea of Nolo Contendere (No Contest)
A plea of no contest means you do not contest the charge against you. You will almost certainly be found guilty unless you are eligible and successfully complete a driving safety course and/or court-approved probation. A plea of nolo contendere cannot be used against you in a subsequent civil suit for damages.
Plea of Not Guilty
A plea of not guilty means you are informing the Court that you deny guilt or that you have a defense in your case, and that the State must prove what it has charged against you. You will need to decide whether to hire an attorney to represent you. You are not required to hire an attorney to represent you. You may represent yourself. The Court cannot give you any information on obtaining an attorney.