Spiro Agnew pled Nolo contendere on this day in 1973

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NOLO (NOH-loh)

Nolo contendere: a legal term that comes from the Latin for "I will not contend it."

Common clues: Legal plea, for short; ____ contendere

Crossword puzzle frequency: once a year

Nolo contendere is a legal term that comes from the Latin for "I will not contend it." It is also referred to as a plea of "No Contest."

In criminal trials, and in some common law jurisdictions, it is a plea where the defendant neither admits nor disputes a charge, serving as an alternative to a pleading of guilty or not guilty.

A no contest plea, while not technically a guilty plea, has the same immediate effect as a guilty plea, and is often offered as a part of a plea bargain.

In many jurisdictions a plea of Nolo contendere is not a right, and carries various restrictions on its use. In the United States, state law determines whether, and under what circumstances a defendant may plead no contest. Several other common law countries, however, prohibit the plea altogether.

In Australia, a plea of Nolo contendere by a defendant in a criminal trial is not permitted. The defendant must enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. Where a defendant refuses to enter a plea, the court will record a plea of not guilty.

One of the most famous Nolo contendere pleas in U.S. history was that of Vice President Spiro T. Agnew, who was accused of crimes committed while he was the Governor of Maryland. Mr. Agnew pleaded Nolo contendere in a Maryland court to the charges. Eventually, Agnew was forced to resign as Vice President.



This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Nolo contendere"