no contest vs guilty

I am paying a traffic ticket.

If I mail in the payment, my plea is listed as No Contest.

If I pay on the city’s web site, my plea is listed as “Guilty”.

Is there any practical difference for a traffic ticket?

IANAL, but… my understanding is that you can appeal a “no contest” plea, but not “guilty”

Link 1 (Gregg County, Texas) says:

Link 2 (El Paso) says:

Link 3 (Houston) only says:

That doesn’t really address the quirk you’ve found in the payment system. But I doubt it makes a real difference.

“No contest” is much easier for people to say.

Also, you can’t use a plea of no contest as evidence in court. For example, let’s say you hit someone while driving through an intersection and are ticketed for running a red light. A plea of guilty can be used against you if the other person sues for damages, but a plea of no contest cannot. After all, you didn’t admit to anything, you just said that you weren’t going to contest the charges.

When making a plea in person, the best response is “no contest”.

A “no contest” plea leaves open the possiblity that the judge could find you to be not guilty…or even dismiss the charges.