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Is there a difference between a guilty plea and a plea of no contest?

Let’s say you are charged with shoplifting in Arizona. You hire an attorney and he says the prosecutor has offered a plea agreement and you can plea guilty or no contest. What do you do?

Of course it depends on the situation. For the most part a plea of no contest has the exact same effect as a plea of guilty. Some people may think it sounds better, or looks better to have entered a plea of no contest instead of guilty, but either scenario ends up with a conviction on your record. And the judge will likely advise you that entering a plea of no contest has the same effect as a plea of guilty.

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