Pleading "No Contest" Does NOT Keep Your Record Clean

I’m not sure where that myth came from, but pleading “no contest” in court doesn’t mean that your record will stay clean.

Video Transcription

Hello. My name is Andrew Flusche. I’m a Virginia traffic and misdemeanor attorney. Does no contest mean the charge won’t be on your record? Unfortunately, no.

I’m not sure where that myth comes from, but I’ve heard it from several people. They’ll say, “Well, I pled no contest to shoplifting or DUI or reckless driving, so it shouldn’t be on my record.” That’s just not true.

No contest is simply a plea. It basically means that you’re not fighting the evidence that the Commonwealth has. You’re saying yes, you can prove your case. Well, that’s essentially very close to a guilty plea. It’s not saying “yes, I did it,” but it’s saying “yes, you can prove it,” so that doesn’t mean the case is going to be dismissed or not show up on your record. It simply means that you’re not fighting the case. The judge could very well have convicted you of the original charge.

Now, no contest can be a useful tool and a useful plea to enter, and in some cases I advise clients to do that, but simply having entered a no contest plea does not mean that the case will not be on your record.

Andrew Flusche

My name is Andrew Flusche. I am a traffic and misdemeanor defense lawyer in Virginia. I limit my practice to traffic tickets and misdemeanor defense, so I know the ins and outs of these offenses. I literally wrote the book on reckless driving in Virginia which you can get on Amazon here or download for free here. I opened my practice in 2008 after earning my Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. Since then, I have earned over 600 5-star reviews from happy clients on Google, Yelp, and Facebook. If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor offense in Virginia, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Your initial consultation is always free, and you'll talk directly with me about the details of your case.

What's Next?

Get Free Answers

Andrew wrote the book on reckless driving. It’s the most-reviewed Virginia reckless driving resource on

Get Your Free Copy

Andrew wrote the book on DWI. It’s jam-packed full of answers for your case.

Get Your Free Copy

Our special report about driving on suspended explains six critical issues to possibly fight in your case.

Get Your Free Copy


We provide free consultations for cases in our area. If we can't help, we'll do our best to connect you with someone who can.


Contact Andrew & Fitz