Q: Can the court accept a nolo contendere plea when there is no evidence to indicate guilt? In Oregon
A: It certainly isn't supposed to do that. See ORS § 135.395 -
Determining accuracy of plea -
After accepting a plea of guilty or no contest, the court shall not enter a judgment without making such inquiry as may satisfy the court that there is a factual basis for the plea. [1973 c.836 §169]
Most courts either have the State lay a factual basis or ask defense counsel if there is a factual basis for the plea. If there aren't sufficient facts, the court shouldn't accept the plea.
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