Under our system of justice, all persons are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty. On a plea of not guilty, a formal trial is held. As in all criminal trials, the State is required to prove the guilt of a defendant "beyond a reasonable doubt" of the offense charged in the complaint before a defendant can be found guilty by a judge or jury.
Your decision concerning which plea to enter is very important. Consider each plea carefully before making a decision. If you enter a plea of guilty or no contest, you should be prepared to pay the fines and court costs. The court will inform you regarding fine payment requirements.
Plea of Guilty
By entering a plea of guilty, you admit that you committed the act charged and that the act is prohibited by law, and that you have no defense or excuse for your act.
Pleas or Nolo Contendere (No Contest)
A plea of no contest means you do not contest the charge against you. You will almost certainly be found guilty, unless you are eligible and successfully complete a Defensive Driving Course and/or approved Deferred Adjudication.
Plea of Not Guilty
A plea of not guilty means you are informing the court that you deny guilt or that you have a defense in your case, and that the State must prove what it has charged against you. You will need to decide whether or not to hire an attorney to represent you. You may represent yourself. If you represent yourself, the section on Trials will help you to understand trial procedure.