Receiving a ticket in Nevada can be overwhelming and intimidating. Fortunately, you have the option to enter a not guilty plea if you feel that you are innocent of the charges against you. It is one of the three plea options you have when you receive a ticket. By entering this plea, it allows you to contest the ticket and fight for your rights in court.
Understanding what a not guilty plea is, when to use it, what happens after entering one, its pros and cons, as well as other frequently asked questions about this legal process will help make sure that your rights are protected.
With an experienced attorney on your side who knows how to handle these cases effectively, they can provide advice on whether or not a not guilty plea is right for your situation and guide through every step of the way until resolution is reached.
If you received a traffic ticket in Nevada, reach out to our team. With our office located in Las Vegas, Ticket Busters has extensive experience in handling ticket violations for many years has a history to prove it. We understand how stressful these situations can be, and we are dedicated to fighting for your rights every step of the way. Contact us now for more information or to get started with your case.
Understanding the Importance of Pleading Not Guilty
When you receive a traffic ticket in Nevada, you basically have a few options to take:
- Do nothing: We do not recommend not doing anything as this inaction usually results in a bench warrant which is another problem to deal with.
- Paying the ticket: If you decide to pay the ticket, it will be an admission of guilt and there may be other consequences associated like points on your license or higher insurance premiums. Usually, you can do this online these days.
- Go to court: Here, you will be asked a plea and will have three options: guilty, no contest, or not guilty.
It is important to understand what each one entails so that you can make an informed decision on which route is best for your specific situation.
Most violators often just pay the fine online. However, if you believe you are innocent or have valid grounds to challenge the ticket, pleading not guilty is your best course of action.
What Is a Not Guilty Plea?
A not guilty plea is a statement indicating that you deny guilt for the charges presented against you. When entering this type of plea, it allows you to contest the ticket in court and fight for your legal rights. This means that the case will go before a judge or jury who will then decide if there is enough evidence to convict you of the violation.
When to Use a Not Guilty Plea
If you truly believe that you are innocent of the charges against you, entering a not guilty plea will allow you to contest the ticket in court. If you make this plea, it allows time for your attorney to review all of the evidence and build an effective defense that can be used in court.
However, it is important to note that if you decided to contest the ticket and the judge or jury finds you guilty, harsher penalties may be applied.
This route is often the best option for those who have valid factors that could help their case in court such as a witness, evidence, or mistakes on the police report. It is best to discuss your situation with an experienced attorney before entering this plea as they can advise you if it is the right option for your particular scenario.
This court appearance will most likely be just that—making your not guilty plea.
What Happens After Entering a Not Guilty Plea?
After making your plea, your speeding ticket case will be scheduled for a pre-trial conference with the Deputy District Attorney and/or a judge. This will not happen on the same day and will be set for a future date.
At this pre-trial conference, your attorney and the prosecuting attorney will discuss factors such as a plea bargain or possible dismissal. If there is no agreement at this point, then the case will be set for a jury or bench trial which means that you can make your case in front of a judge or jury.
If no agreements are made, the case will proceed to a trial where the judge or jury will ultimately decide if you are guilty of the violation. In most cases, the judge will be the sole decision maker (bench trial).
In this trial, the prosecution and defense will present evidence to prove their cases. If the jury or judge decides you are guilty, then the penalties will be applied based on your offense and the state of Nevada’s traffic laws.
Depending on their verdict, this can result in having to pay fines, points added to your license, having to take classes or other driving courses, or even jail time in some cases.
An experienced attorney may be able to help reduce any potential penalties if found guilty by negotiating with the prosecutor for lesser sentences.
If found not guilty, then you can move forward without any penalties imposed.
Advantages of Pleading Not Guilty to a Traffic Violation
When deciding whether or not entering a not guilty plea is in your best interest, it’s important to understand the pros and cons that come along with it.
The primary benefit of pleading not guilty is that you can fight for your rights in court and potentially get the charges dismissed or reduced. This route also gives you more time to negotiate a plea with the prosecutor as well.
Additionally, having an attorney by your side can drastically improve your chances of having the ticket dismissed or penalties reduced since they have extensive experience and knowledge in this area of law.
Another advantage of pleading not guilty is that if the judge or jury finds you innocent, then no points will be added to your license as appeals and dismissed cases are not reported.
Disadvantages of Pleading Not Guilty to a Traffic Violation
Contesting your ticket in court is a time consuming process and can be expensive. You will also have to appear in front of a judge or jury which could cause more stress and anxiety on top of the legal fees you’ll need to pay for attorney representation.
Furthermore, if the judge or jury finds you guilty after your plea, then there may be harsher penalties associated with your violation.
Ultimately, when deciding whether or not to plead not guilty, it is important to consider all factors and discuss your situation with an experienced attorney. They will be able to provide you with information on the best way to proceed in order to achieve the most favorable outcome for your case.
Exploring Alternatives and Negotiating with the Prosecutor
Throughout the process, there may be opportunities to explore alternatives and negotiate with the prosecutor. This could involve requesting a reduction in charges, a plea bargain, or even the possibility of resolving the case with the payment of a fine.
Consulting with a traffic ticket attorney can significantly enhance your negotiation skills and increase the likelihood of achieving a favorable outcome.
Potential Outcomes and Next Steps
After presenting your case in court, several outcomes are possible.
If the judge finds you not guilty, the charges will be dismissed, and you can move forward without any penalties or consequences.
However, if you are found guilty, you may have the option to take an online traffic course to reduce points on your license. Additionally, depending on the circumstances, your attorney can explore the possibility of having your record sealed after a certain period.
You Don’t Have to Face a Traffic Ticket Alone
If you have received a traffic ticket in Nevada and believe that a not guilty plea is right for your situation, contact our team at Ticket Busters today. Our knowledgeable and experienced attorneys can help you explore all of your options and guide you towards achieving the best possible outcome for your case.
We understand that traffic tickets can be intimidating, but rest assured, we are here to navigate the process with you every step of the way. We have successfully defended thousands of clients throughout Nevada – let us do the same for you. Call our office today!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a not guilty plea and nolo contendere?
A not guilty plea means that you are denying the charges against you and are attempting to prove your innocence in court. Nolo contendere, on the other hand, is a type of plea where you do not admit or deny the charges but agree to accept any consequences associated with the violation.
What are some advantages of pleading not guilty to a traffic violation?
Some of the main advantages include having more time to negotiate with the prosecutor, potentially reduced or dismissed charges, and no points added to your license if found not guilty. Additionally, you can make your case in front of a judge or jury which can give you more control over the outcome.
What should I do if I receive a traffic ticket?
If you have received a traffic ticket, it is important to consult with an attorney who specializes in this area of law. They can provide advice on how to proceed and help ensure that all your rights are protected throughout the process. Additionally, they may be able to negotiate with the prosecutor and potentially reduce or dismiss the charges.
What happens if I am found guilty after pleading not guilty?
If you are found guilty after entering a plea of not guilty, then penalties associated with your violation will be imposed. This could include fines, points added to your license, or even jail time in some cases. An experienced attorney may be able to help reduce or eliminate any potential penalties by negotiating with the prosecutor.