If she pleads nolo contendre, it is not an admission of guilt and therefore cannot be used against her in any civil suit. Judges are reluctant to let a person use a plea of nolo contendre more than one time. She might want to save the nolo plea for a more serious charge where the consequences are more serious. Also, you should factor in how many points she already has on her driving record, and whether this charge will put her license at risk. If so, she should consider using the nolo plea.
The prosecutor may be willing to reduce the charge to a non-reportable offense (and save her nolo plea which can only be used once every five years) if she brings evidence from her insurance company that they are taking care of the damages in the case. If there is not a dispute about liability and the insurance company is handling the claim, they will likely provide her with such a letter. If the case is on the court's calendar for the first time, you might be able to request an extension if you need more time to get the letter.
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Because there will likely be a claim against her auto insurance, she needs to speak with her own insurance company claims adjuster to see what they want her to do as well. This is advice to take, but not mandatory that she follow this. They may want her to plea nolo, and this may be the best idea, but if there was an accident, the prosecutor may want to hear from the other side before giving a recommendation on the nolo plea. When in doubt, tell them that the case is all mixed up with insurance and you want to continue the case to talk to your insurance company. They will understand that and be fine with it.
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Nolo can be used only once every five years, so you want to be very cautious about using it. It does help with civil cases as it is not an admission of guilt but her insurance will take care of the civil case anyway.
Sometimes there are better options depending on the court and you should discuss those with a lawyer. In some courts, with a good history, a person may even get a charge reduced to a warning or a non-reportable offense. An attorney may also help minimize fines.
Bear in mind also nolo is a discretionary plea a judge can refuse to accept. Although unlikely, you need your plan B. Having a local lawyer pretry the case with a solicitor may afford you the best options.
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