In Pennsylvania, people charged with DUI offenses will often assert their innocence. In some instances, though, they will plead nolo contendere, or no contest, meaning that they do not expressly admit guilt but agree to accept punishment. A plea of nolo contendere should not be entered into without careful consideration, however, as once such a plea is entered, it can be challenging to withdraw, as demonstrated in a recent Pennsylvania DUI case. If you are accused of committing a DUI crime, it is smart to confer with a Pennsylvania DUI defense lawyer about your options for protecting your interests.
The Facts of the Case
It is reported that the police received a dispatch about a vehicle striking a pedestrian. When the police arrived at the accident scene, they observed a man on the ground with substantial injuries. Bystanders advised the police that a man driving a white SUV hit two stop signs and then struck the victim and provided the police with the SUV’s license plate number.
Allegedly, the police patrolled the area and found the SUV involved in the accident, which belonged to the defendant. They learned that the defendant discarded a pill bottle containing benzodiazepines and smelled marijuana inside the SUV. The defendant was ultimately arrested and charged with multiple DUI offenses. He entered a plea of nolo contendere, and the trial court sentenced him to four to eight years of imprisonment. He filed a motion to withdraw his plea, which the court denied. He then appealed. Continue reading