Is it possible to keep a drug charge off my record by entering a no contest plea in court in California? 11 Answers as of February 24, 2012

Can I enter a no contest plea to keep my record clean? I have a clean record before this mess. Pot and other paraphernalia in my roommate’s room were found by police officers when they came and searched with a warrant last week. There was some other stuff in the kitchen, but there was nothing in my room since I don’t do drugs.

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Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
No. A no contest plea is a guilty plea resulting in conviction. Its only purpose is when a civil lawsuit is also threatened by the crime victim, as it prevents the conviction being used by the victim as an automatic win in the civil case.

Of course you can fight the charges. When arrested and charged with any crime, the proper questions are, can any evidence obtained in a search be used against you, and can you be convicted, and what can you do? Defend the charges. Go to court, enter a not guilty plea, set up and attend the court hearing[s] and trial date[s]. Raise all possible defenses with whatever admissible and credible witnesses, evidence and facts are available for legal arguments for evidence suppression or other motions, plea-bargaining, or at trial. Effective plea-bargaining, using those defenses, could possibly keep you out of jail, or at least dramatically reduce it. Go to trial if it can't be resolved with motions or a plea bargain. There is no magic wand to wave and make it all disappear. Not exactly a do it yourself project in court for someone who does not know how to effectively represent himself against a professional prosecutor intending to convict and jail you.

If you don't know how to do these things effectively, then hire an attorney that does, who will try to get a dismissal, diversion, reduction or other decent outcome through plea bargain for you, or take it to trial. If serious about doing so, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me. Ill be happy to help you use whatever defenses you may have. If you can't afford private counsel, you can apply for the Public Defender.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/21/2011
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
No. A no contest plea only says that you are not contesting the charge. It admits culpability. Hire a competent attorney and fight this mess.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/21/2011
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
You need an attorney. Your attorney should keep your record clean. Do not plea unless on the advice of your attorney.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/21/2011
Law Office of Marc K. Herbert
Law Office of Marc K. Herbert | Marc K. Herbert
If you plead "no contest", a conviction will be posted on your record. Depending on the charges actually filed, you may be able to complete a short-term outpatient drug counsleing program and receive a dismissal of charges. The dismissal will allow you to keep your record "clean". If you have other questions, please call my office.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/21/2011
Law Office of Andrew Roberts
Law Office of Andrew Roberts | Andrew Stephen Roberts
A no contest pleas does not keep anything off your record. It is virtually the same as pleading guilty. Retain an attorney to assist you.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/21/2011
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    The only way to avoid a lasting conviction on your record is to enter into a DEJ or Prop 36 program as part of your of guilty and the complete it successfully. Of course if you are innocent you might want to fight the case with the help of a good lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/21/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    No. In criminal court, a no contest plea is the same as a guilty plea, and you will have a criminal record. Consider hiring an attorney to help you so you don't have to plead. You may even be eligible for diversion, the completion of which may result in a dismissal.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/18/2011
    Law Office of Michael Bialys THE DUI MAN
    Law Office of Michael Bialys THE DUI MAN | Michael Bialys
    A no contest plea is still regarded as a conviction and will show up on your record.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/24/2012
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    Entering a no contest plea will show up as a conviction on your record. Contact me through 1DuiLawyer.com if you would like to discuss further as I handle cases like yours. You should consult an attorney about your case as pc 1000 informal diversion or prop 36 could be plausible alternatives.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/18/2011
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
    No contest pleas are very seldom allowed here and they also don't keep your record clean. But you should not plead guilty to anything if you are not guilty. You need an attorney - take the Public Defender if you can't afford one.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/18/2011
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