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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23164
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I live in Texas and have been charged with public intox. I

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I live in Texas and have been charged with public intox. I plead not guilty to get out of jail and have been given a court day. Is it a good idea to go into walk in court and plead no contest and just pay the fine to get it over with or wait till my court date?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 years ago.
Hello Jacustomer,

Many people who aren't lawyers have a misunderstanding about a no-contest plea. A plea of no contest is the same as a guilty plea. It results in a criminal conviction. The only difference between a plea of no contest and a guilty plea is that the no contest plea cannot be used against you as an admission in civil court. A guilty plea can. Chances are, that's never going to be an issue with this case.

So, botXXXXX XXXXXne: if you don't care about having a criminal record, you can walk in and plead no contest, pay your fine and get this whole matter behind you quickly.

If you want to keep this off of your record, it's best to come to court on your court date, with a lawyer and let him bargain something for you that will allow you to avoid a record. With a charge like this, that's not an unrealistic possibility. May be more costly then you want in terms of time and dollars. But if your record's already clean, it's far more costly in the long run if you don't keep it that way.

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