Perusing my recent stats, courtesy of Mint, and I see someone has Googled the title of this post.

Maybe I’m feeling overly suspicious tonight, but I’m tempted to suspect that someone has been told by their lawyer that there’s a big difference between pleading ‘guilty’ and pleading ‘no contest’ to their (Texas) DWI charge. 

There’s not. If you weren’t involved in a collision, or something that could lead to a civil suit, there’s absolutely no difference to the defendant. Your lawyer has not worked out some ‘great deal’ by ‘convincing the prosecutor’ to ‘let you plead no contest instead of guilty’.

And frankly, if you had insurance, or weren’t at fault in the accident – that’s possible, even if you were hammered – there’s still no difference.

The only difference that counts is that a ‘no contest’ plea can’t be held against you in a civil case arising out of the criminal incident, while a ‘guilty’ plea can. If that’s a big deal to you, maybe it’s worth something. 99% of the time it won’t be.

And as long as I’m being suspicious, who else out there thinks the recent search phrase ‘preparing cops for an ALR hearing’ was done by a prosecutor? Late night search, and all I know is it was from a wireless broadband IP address, so I can’t be sure, but who else would Google such a thing?

What the heck… Never been a prosecutor, but I’m going to hand out some advice in that regard anyway:

Say, “Officer, thanks for showing up. The hearing’s about to start. Have you reviewed the documents? You remember the arrest? OK, great. You’ll get called as a witness in a few minutes.”

Pretty simple stuff. He’ll be sworn in under penalty of perjury. They taught him in the Police Academy to just tell the truth – well, didn’t they?

What other kind of ‘preparing’ could you (not a witness to the events in question) give to an officer anyway?

[OK, OK, I’m being something of a smart-alec.  I know there are prosecutors that read this blog.  Feel free to add comments on how to ‘ethically’ prepare a witness.  You may do so anonymously, or leave your name.  I’d be happy to hear from you.]

  • Anon y mous

    $2,500.00 dollars later I can only say that you are right…hiring a lawyer to represent you in a DWI case just to plead “no contest,” when no civil case is pending, is stupid. It’s also unethical on the part of the lawyer who is taking your money to do something it took me 15 minutes to learn how to do on the internet. My lawyer took my money knowing full well all he would really do is delay sentencing and I would spend more time without a license.

    Buyer beware. Sometimes the courtroom is the last place you need a lawyer.

  • Ken

    For anyone who has had a recent DWI- Myself and a few others have conducted our own investigation on ” routine ” so called – stops on susp.DWI’s, it will blow your minds, for instance in Taylor TX, the police awaits various patrons, what we found distrubing is they have a tow-truck driver sitting alongside them. We video-taped citizens performing sobriety field tests, many were only given one, we found the police lied about what tests were given in they’re reports, simply because they