Three Ways to Plead in a DUI Case

There are three basic ways to plead if you are accused of a Connecticut DUI or another crime - guilty, not guilty, and nolo contendere. I outline these three options on this page, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each. To determine the best way to plead for your situation, contact us.


If you have been accused of committing a DUI in Connecticut, the criminal court will pursue charges against you. In this situation, you will have to plead to your innocence or guilt. While many people have a general understanding of what it means to plead guilty or not guilty in a criminal case, there are nuances that you should understand. There is even an additional way that you can plead. Check out the ways to plead in a DUI case here in order to determine which option is the right choice for your situation.

Ways to Plead

The following explains the ways to plead in a DUI case. There are three ways to plead or have your case resolved. The first way consists of a “straight” guilty plea. A straight plea means you agree with the allegations. The state says that you committed a crime, and you agree to your guilt.

The second way you can plead guilty consists of the Alford Doctrine. The Alford Doctrine means that you do not agree with some, or all of the facts that the state claims happened, however, in light of what you know the state has to prove, you wish to plead guilty and accept a definite disposition rather than risk going to trial and losing, and getting sentenced to a greater penalty.

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The final way to plead guilty consists of pleading “nolo contendere.” “Nolo contendere” is Latin for “no contest.” This means that you don’t contest the charge and you don’t put up any defenses to the charge. The judge, after hearing the charges, will find you guilty, and sentence you. A “nolo contendere” plea is often used in situations where you may be sued by another person, perhaps a person with whom you were involved with in an accident, because this type of plea cannot be used against you in a civil case like a guilty plea could.

Getting Help

There are so many choices to make in a DUI case. Even seemingly simple decisions such as how to plead can become complicated and overwhelming. You do not want to make a choice that will have negative implications for you and your case.

The best way to weigh your options and understand the best choice for your situation is by contacting a DUI lawyer such as myself. I can help you determine the pros and cons of each of the ways to plead. I can also help you make other decisions regarding your case, for example, if you should take a plea from the state or go to trial, how best to defend yourself, if you should consider a rehabilitative program, and more. I am happy to answer your questions and walk you through the criminal court process. Contact my office today so that I can get started on your defense.

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