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This is in reference to a traffic violation and leaving the…

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Hello--This is in reference...

Hello--This is in reference to a traffic violation and leaving the scene. What are the ramifications of pleading "no contest"--both immediately and also in the future?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because traffic laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Oh, of course, Sumter County, Florida

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

Yes.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Let me give you the basic outline: I was in a car accident. There was no damage to vehicles or injury to people. I took photos. I was driving the company van (shuttle service) with 3 passengers /customers in the van. I was taking them to the airport. The company van is equipped with a piece of equipment that shows time and speed of van. The van was going 2 mph. I was changing lanes, moving into the right lane, and I bumped/scrapped a vehicle that was driving forward in that lane.
I wasn’t sure what to do, so I called my employer and he asked about damage and injury. When I told him there was none, he told me to take the customers to the airport; which I did.
A police office came to the site and took a report, and subsequently he called me. The customers were also called and each one gave a report as well.
These are the basic details.
I was assigned a public defender, who has advised me to plead “no contest.” I’m not sure if this is what I should do, or if I there is a better choice for me to make. In other words, I don’t know what the ramifications, both now and in the future are/will be if I plead “no contest.”
I said ok to having a public defender appointed, because finances are an issue; but if I really should hire an attorney, I will borrow some money to do so.
The status conference is next Monday, the 18th.

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 3 minutes by:
12/12/2017
Lawyer: Nisha Jones,
 replied 7 months ago
Nisha Jones
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3,480
Experience: Managing Attorney at Nisha Jones Law, LLC
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Good afternoon, I am a Criminal Defense attorney and former Prosecutor for the State Attorney's Office, and I'll be answering your questions today. Keep in mind this is for informational purposes only and we do not have an attorney-client relationship. Please allow me just a few minutes to review your question, thank you!

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Lawyer: Nisha Jones,
 replied 7 months ago

Entering a plea of no contest will still give you a conviction on your record.

With a no contest you are not admitting guilty, that's the difference from entering a guilty plea, but again, it will still count as a conviction.

If you gave all of your information to the other vehicle before you left the scene -- your name, insurance info, phone number, etc. -- and you left only because you had passengers on board your van that needed to get to the airport, and there were no injuries to anyone in the accident, then you have a very valid legal defense to the LSA charge.

Your other option here would be to take this to trial and try to obtain a not guilty verdict at trial. That would mean that you would not have a conviction on your record.

I hope that helps!

Please let me know if you have any other questions. Also, please take a moment to rate me using the stars at the top of the page, as it's the only way experts are compensated for our time on the site. I do not receive a salary here at JustAnswer, and am only compensated for my time after receiving a rating of 3 stars or more (5 stars are always appreciated). The question won't close after rating, so you can still ask follow-up questions after. Thanks, ***** ***** it!

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
What are the ramifications of the "no contest" conviction? Points on my insurance? What does the conviction mean? What happens? It's on my record, is it ever removed? What could happen down the road, so to speak?
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Typing is just fine with me. I don't care to call at this point in time.
Lawyer: Nisha Jones,
 replied 7 months ago

Yes, you will most likely see an increase in your insurance rates over this.

A conviction means anytime anyone runs a background check on you, an employer or housing agency etc. they are going to see a conviction for leaving the scene of an accident.

Unfortunately under FL law you will not be able to expunge (remove) this from your record if you are found guilty at trial, or if you enter a plea of no contest.

That means the conviction will stay on your record permanently.

If you go to trial and are found not guilty, you would be able to expunge the arrest from your record so that it's gone, and you also would not receive penalties to your insurance rates.

I hope that helps! Let me know if you still have any questions.

​Please take a moment to leave a positive rating for me, 5 stars are always appreciated, thanks!

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Thank you.
Lawyer: Nisha Jones,
 replied 7 months ago

You're welcome, no problem! If you have any more questions in the future and would like my help, please feel free to reach out to me here at JustAnswer by posting a new question, and adding "For Nisha" to the first part of your question. I'd be happy to help. Best of luck to you, take care!

Please remember to click 'Finish' and leave a positive rating so that I can be credited for my help with your question. 5 stars are always appreciated, thanks!

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Lawyer: Nisha Jones,
 replied 7 months ago

Hi! Just checking in to see if you have any more questions? I hope I was able to address all of your concerns. Please let me know, I'm here to help. Thanks!

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