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Plea "not guilty, no contest" to charges, or choosing to plead guilty when you are not

  • 06-09-2022 12:59pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 436 ✭✭


    Lets say you are accused of some crime and are going to be tried for this.

    You feel that you are not guilty of said crime, but you feel that convincing the court of your innocence would be very difficult and could possibly take a long time with a very long drawn out case which is difficult to prove one way or the other.

    Is it possible, at the stage of plea entry, to state that you do not agree with the charges made against you, but that nontheless you will not be contesting the charges. Or if no contest is not an option, stating that you are entering a guilty plea for the sake of expediting the process and getting the whole affair over with as quickly as possible.

    You might seek mitigation of sentence on basis of not contesting the charges, and saving the court's time, and going along with it to get everything over with and done as quickly and as hassle free as possible.

    And you'd just take the conviction and any punishment on the chin, since it might be more favourable than a long drawn out stressful trial and consuming a lot of court time.

    What would the deal be here? Is there such a thing as "not guilty no contest"?



Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 312 ✭✭peter4918


    Why would anyone ever enter a guilty plea if they didn’t do whatever they were in court for. Stress or no stress. Ridiculous.



  • Registered Users Posts: 8,925 ✭✭✭GM228


    You feel that you are not guilty of said crime, but you feel that convincing the court of your innocence would be very difficult and could possibly take a long time with a very long drawn out case which is difficult to prove one way or the other.

    You do not have to prove your innocence, the prosecutor has to prove your guilt.

    Is it possible, at the stage of plea entry, to state that you do not agree with the charges made against you, but that nontheless you will not be contesting the charges. Or if no contest is not an option, stating that you are entering a guilty plea for the sake of expediting the process and getting the whole affair over with as quickly as possible.

    You might seek mitigation of sentence on basis of not contesting the charges, and saving the court's time, and going along with it to get everything over with and done as quickly and as hassle free as possible.

    Well I suppose it's possible to say whatever you want (and people often do come out with many often odd things to say at plea), but, the court will only be interested in guilty or not guilt as that is all that counts, anything else is irrelevant.

    Seeking mitigation for failing to contest the charge is essentially a form of plea bargaining which is not lawful in this jurisdiction.

    Post edited by GM228 on


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,112 ✭✭✭✭Marcusm


    This is what is referred to in the US as an Alford plea meaning that you accept a conviction while protesting your innocence but not challenging a conviction.


    i don’t think this exists in Irish law. I guess you could fail to advance a defence.



  • Registered Users Posts: 552 ✭✭✭awsah


    Depending on the charge the judge will want to see remorse. If you are saying your not guilty you are not admiting fault, judge likely to increase sentence in this instance. Why would you risk the possibility of prison and having a record for something you didn't do!



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,904 ✭✭✭Jequ0n


    If my case looked like I was likely to loose it then I would certainly consider pleading guilty and obviously feign as much remorse as possible. Anything to avoid a lengthy prison sentence really.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭mikethecop


    No , its either in Ireland

    A. Not Guilty

    B. Guilty,


    refuse to plea either way judge will enter not guilty on your behalf



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,628 ✭✭✭marlin vs


    Girl Geraldine would be a nice name for a boat.



  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 8,448 CMod ✭✭✭✭Sierra Oscar


    Indeed and if you try and make some sort of protest in court by stating you're accepting the charge and pleading guilty, but that you're 'not really guilty', then the judge will just get annoyed and enter a plea of not guilty on your behalf.



  • Registered Users Posts: 436 ✭✭Girl Geraldine


    Might be less hassle than arguing a defence that could result in a long, drawn out trial that would be stressful for all concerned. Plead guilty, take it on the chin, get your mitigation, get out early with remission and good behaviour and put it behind you.



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,344 ✭✭✭Thoie


    Side question - if you plead guilty to something you didn't do, is that perjury?



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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 8,448 CMod ✭✭✭✭Sierra Oscar


    You're not under oath when entering a plea or when one is entered on your behalf, so no it couldn't be considered perjury.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,775 ✭✭✭CrabRevolution


    There are no credible scenarios where getting a conviction and spending time in jail is less stressful than participating in a trial, especially in a situation where you are actually innocent.

    I also don't think a trial is that stressful "for all concerned", for all participants bar the defendant it's their job.



  • Registered Users Posts: 22 JaneyMackey


    I’m currently facing a minor criminal damage charge myself and have been offered a caution or to settle civilly.

    I initially did consider both just to get it over and done with but in the end I got a solicitor because I’m not admitting something I didn’t do.

    You said it’s difficult to prove one way or the other . In that case then the benefit of the doubt is supposed to favour the accused. The prosecution needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. The judge thinking you probably did it isn’t supposed to be enough to convict



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,560 ✭✭✭endofrainbow




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