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Name: People v. Rauen
Case #: A131028
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 11/30/2011

A plea of no contest to criminal charges is sufficient basis to prove a violation of probation. The terms of probation required that the probationer “obey all laws.” Rauen did not dispute that the criminal record showing a conviction based on a plea of no contest was admissible at the probation violation hearing. He argued that a plea of guilty in the case would have been sufficient to prove that he violated the law, but that a no contest plea does not provide sufficient proof. Penal Code section 1016 and established case law demonstrate that the legal effect of such a plea is the same as a plea of guilty for all purposes, except that a misdemeanor conviction may not be used against the defendant in a civil suit. The Legislature did not provide for any exclusion of the collateral use of a plea of no contest in criminal actions and it is not constitutionally compelled.