Nolo Contendere Legal Meaning and Definition

Here is a simplified definition of the legal term Nolo Contendere.

Nolo contendere (noun) A Latin phrase which loosely translates to "I do not wish to contest." In legal terms, it is a type of plea in a criminal case where a person does not admit guilt but also does not contest the charges against them. This strategy is often used to avoid admitting guilt or liability in a public trial, or when the person charged may not know if their actions were, in fact, a crime. The decision of guilt or innocence is then left up to the judge. This type of plea requires the court's permission. It may be used to save on legal costs or to express a belief of innocence without outwardly denying the charges.