What are the plea options in Utah?
There are five plea options recognized in the state: not guilty, guilty, guilty with a mental illness at the time of the offense, not guilty by reason of insanity and no contest. In some cases, a plea of guilty by reason of insanity might be entered.
What is a not guilty plea?
A not guilty plea means that the person says he or she didn't commit the crime he or she is accused of. If a person fails to enter a plea at all in court, a not guilty plea is entered for them by default.
What is a guilty plea?
When a person enters a guilty plea, he or she is saying that he or she did commit the crime they are accused of. Once the guilty plea is entered, the person is sentenced in accordance with the charge placed against him or her.
What is a no contest plea?
A no contest plea is one that has to be approved by the court. In this case, the person doesn't fight the charges against him or her. The sentencing is carried out in the same manner as for a guilty plea.
Your plea is a vital component of a criminal case. While it is possible to withdraw a not guilty plea, it is often difficult and sometimes impossible to withdraw one of the other pleas. For this reason, you should make sure you fully understand what will happen with each of these pleas before you make them.
Source: State of Utah, "Title 77" accessed Mar. 09, 2015