Gianetta Palmer is a writer, copywriter, and essayist. Her work has appeared in EverydayHealth.com, Healthline, and The Dyrt Magazine. She is the author of Scrunchie-Fried and writes a lot about car insurance in her spare time.

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He also has an MBA from the University of South Florid...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Jun 24, 2020

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dui check point
Creative Commons license, From Flickr, 911 Bail Bonds.

Can Pleading “No-Contest’ help Your DUI Outcome?

When you have been arrested for a DUI in Orlando, there are many things that you can count on happening. You can guarantee that you will spend the night in jail; you can guarantee that you will have a court date set, and you can guarantee that you will need to hire a DUI defense attorney. It is crucial to hire a DUI defense attorney so that you do not make the most common mistake among people who are self-representing in Court: pleading No Contest.

judgement for a DUI
Creative Commons license, from Flickr, kylebaker

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Understanding What No Contest Means

Many people believe incorrectly that by pleading “No Contest” that they are tricking the Court. They believe that this means the Court will not find them guilty of any charges or inflict any punishments for the alleged crime. They believe that they are being wise in entering this plea because it is assumed that this is as good as saying Not Guilty.

This is the farthest thing from the truth.By entering a plea of No Contest, you are effectively telling the judge that you are guilty of the crime but do not really wish to make full admission of the act. It is seen as a way for people to admit guilt but feel they had a reason to commit the act they committed. It is never seen as an admission of innocence.

Self Representation Can Save Money

In most cases, a person that self-represents before a DUI judge and enters a No Contest plea will suffer the exact same consequences as those that plead guilty. When judgment and punishment is passed, these defendants are astonished at the outcome because they thought they would be found innocent.

Opt For A DUI Defense Attorney

There are several reasons that a person facing a DUI conviction should hire a defense attorney. A DUI conviction will change every aspect of your life. You will face financial struggles due to the fines imposed by the Court, transportation issues from the loss of you driving privileges, increased insurance costs, possible incarceration, required community service, and the status of being a convicted criminal.

Fighting a DUI charge is not as difficult as you may think when you act quickly to protect yourself. “You have a

People drinking at the bar
License: Creative Commons image source, from Flickr, Sarah.

legal right to fight back, and an experienced DUI lawyer knows exactly how to do that”, says the Orlando DUI firm of Katz & Phillips, P.A.

What is Your Defense?

There are many defenses that can be used in your favor, including how the roadside sobriety test was conducted, chain-of-command of the test results, equipment issues, arrest issues, and even medical issues that must be considered.

An attorney will be familiar with many different defenses that could all result in having the charges dropped against you. If necessary, the attorney may also opt to approach the Court for lesser charges if they cannot find a defense that they can aggressively use to fight your case.

Because the consequences are so severe when you are convicted of a DUI, it is always in your best interest to do what it takes to avoid conviction. This means hiring an experienced attorney and following all of their instructions before and during the case. It also means doing whatever you can to avoid entering a No Contest plea and being treated the same as if you entered a plea of guilty.

States with the Highest Rates for Driving Under the Influence

RankState
1North Dakota
2Montana
3Idaho
4Wisconsin
5South Carolina
6South Dakota
7Pennsylvania
8New Mexico
9Rhode Island
10Vermont
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Note: As of 2016. The statistics are from Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and DrivingLaws.org.

*DUI rates are per 1,000,000 Population.

Cities in the United States with the most DUI violations

 City
20San Diego, CA
19San Jose, CA
18Charlotte, NC
17Phoenix, AZ
16Columbus, OH
15Indianapolis, IN
14Los Angeles, CA
13San Francisco, CA
12Austin, TX
11Jacksonville, FL
10San Antonio, TX
9Dallas, TX
8Houston, TX
7Fort Worth, TX
6Memphis, TN
5Philadelphia, PA
4New York, NY
3Baltimore, MD
2Chicago, IL
1Detroit, MI
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*Rank by population against the percentage of drivers who had at least one DUI related charge.

Graph – DUI Stats by City

Note: City Population is multiplied by 1000. For example, the city of Charlotte has 800 for illustrative purposes, but the actual population would be 800,000.

This chart illustrated how each city, such as Detroit, San Diego, Columbus are compare by population size and the amount of DUI Convictions.

Note: As illustrated by the graph, there is a spike in the amount of DUI’s in the city of Detroit. The five other top ranking cites have high DUI convictions, however the top cities in the nation, such as Detroit, are much higher.