Pleading guilty and sentencing in Weld County Court, Morgan County Court, and Logan County Court are two of the most important parts of a criminal case. In criminal law, every lawyer in Greeley, Sterling and Fort Morgan will tell you that there are three types of pleas: nolo contendere, guilty, and not guilty. Most people are familiar with the pleas of guilty and not guilty. However, the plea bargain of nolo contendere is less common. This plea is less formally known as a ‘no contest’ plea.
Pleading Nolo Contendere in Greeley: What Does It Mean?
When a person who is accused of a crime like Criminal Mischief or Menacing pleas nolo contendere, they are admitting guilt for punishment in the criminal legal system in Colorado, but they are not admitting guilt in the civil system. In essence, a judge will be able to punish you in the criminal system, but the ‘victim’ of your crime will not be able to use that nolo contendere (guilty) plea if they decide to sue you to recover money based on the damage that you caused to them from your actions. In most cases, a DA would have to agree to allow the defendant to plead nolo contendere and can be worked in as part of the plea agreement. Remember though, that restitution exists in every criminal case and a judge will always order restitution. Plus, restitution orders can be converted into civil judgements.
Weld County Sentencing Options: Deferred Judgements
When taking a Weld, Morgan, or Logan County criminal case to trial is not an option, one avenue our experienced defense attorneys seek is a deferred judgement or deferred sentence. A deferred judgement and sentence is a plea bargain in our Colorado criminal justice system which provides that a person plead guilty to the crime, but after a certain period of time determined by the defendant, DA, and ordered by the judge, the guilty plea is removed. The charge will show as dismissed, and can generally be sealed (except in sex offenses). However, there is a risk, because if the person on the deferred judgment fails to follow the conditions of the agreement and sentence, such as getting another criminal charge, then the deferred sentence can be revoked and a permanent criminal conviction is entered.
If you or someone you love is facing criminal charges, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact the best criminal defense attorneys from the O’Malley Law Office at 970-616-6009 today. Together, we can protect your future.
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