There are three possible pleas to a criminal charge:
If you plea "Not Guilty" to the charge, the matter will be then be set for a Pre-trial Conference.You will also need to decide if you want to hire an attorney to represent you or if you want to represent yourself.In certain types of cases the Court may offer a court-appointed attorney to represent you if you can not afford to hire an attorney. If an attorney is appointed to represent you, you may be ordered to contribute to the cost of the attorney.
A plea of "No Contest" means that you do not wish to admit to the charges, but do not wish to contest the charges against you either. Upon a plea of "No Contest" the Judge will enter a judgment of "Guilty" and will either impose a sentence at the time, or set the case for Sentencing proceeding at a later date.
By Pleading "Guilty", you are admitting that you committed the act that is charged against you and that you have no legal defense for the act. If the Judge accepts your plea, he will either impose a sentence at the time, or set the case for Sentencing proceeding at a later date.