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Nate
Nate, Attorney
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 10685
Experience:  Eight years of fighting traffic infractions.
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I was stopped and given a court appearance date (10/31/13,

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I was stopped and given a court appearance date (10/31/13, today) at 1:30 pm for operating a motorcycle without an endorsement in the state of Florida. My question is, would it be inappropriate when a get before the judge to offer a plea of no contest in pursuant to Florida Statute 318.14 (10)(a) in order to get an adjudication or is that out of line for proper proceedings it a criminal traffic court of law?
My name isXXXXX have been a licensed attorney for over ten years and will be assisting you today.

You can certainly do that.

Though there appears to be a difference, there is no legal difference between a guilty plea and a no-contest plea. A guilty plea means you admit guilt. A no-contest plea means you don't admit guilt, but that you admit the state has the evidence to prove you guilty.

As such, the law ultimately ends up treating them the same.

In a situation like this, you either had the endorsement or you didn't. So unless you can prove you had the endorsement at the time of the stop, you may as well go ahead and enter a no-contest / guilty plea.

If you have more questions please feel free to ask. I'll be happy to answer them. If you do not, please do remember to rate my service in assistance to you today.

Thanks!
Nate
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The Florida Statute 318.14 (10)(a) states that any person an offense listed under this subsection ((322.03(4) No Motorcycle Endorsement) in lieu of payment of fine or court appearance, elect to enter a plea of nolo contendere and provide proof of compliance to the clerk of court, designated official, etc.. In such case adjudication shall be withheld. It says I may make this election 3 times in my lifetime but no more than once during a 12 month period.


My question in reference to the statute listed above is in regard to the fact that in my research, I found out about this too late to use this option before the court date but was hopeful that I could still request the use of it either to the state attorney or before the judge without showing any disrespect.

The process described in the law is for your benefit so that you can avoid going to court. If you end up going to court anyway, the judge and state aren't going to care. As long as you otherwise satisfy the compliance requirement, that's what matters.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So your saying bringing it up in court at all would be pointless and possibly make me look like an ass for even trying pushing them away from my hopeful direction of leniency?

No. I'm saying the opposite. The statute is designed to save you the trouble of going to court.

You shouldn't have any trouble getting adjudication witheld. The only difference is you've waited until the last minute and now have to go to court to do it.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Feeling much more relieved about court, thanks for that. So back to how I should present myself in court. Is it appropriate to bring up the FL Statute along with my no contest plea, or better to give the plea and simply state that I now have a motorcycle endorsement offering the license for proof and hope they go the route of adjudication?

You can just cite the statute, indicate you meant to send in your no contest plea, but would like to do so now in court.
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