Georgia law allows a nolo contendre, or “no contest” plea to be entered under limited circumstances in a DUI case. Some of the conditions include:
- The defendant has no prior DUI convictions within the past 5 years
- If a chemical test was obtained under Georgia Implied Consent law, the results must not have been greater than a .15
- The defendant must file a verified petition with the court setting forth special circumstances of the plea, and the judge must make a finding that accepting a no contest plea is in the best interest of justice
- The judge must review the defendant’s driving record on file with the Department of Driver Services
- The judge must set forth his or her reasons for accepting the no contest plea
Additionally, the Georgia Department of Driver Services will still suspend the driver’s license and require a Risk Reduction School (DUI school) to be completed, as well as the payment of a reinstatement fee. The slight advantage to a no contest plea in your DUI case is it is not an admission of guilt; you neither admit to nor deny the charges. It is best to consult with our office if you to discuss whether a ‘no contest’ plea could be a feasible alternative in your DUI case. However, for all intents and purposes, Georgia now treats no contest pleas as convictions under the law.