State v. Ayers, 226 N.C. 579 (1946)

Oct. 9, 1946 · Supreme Court of North Carolina
226 N.C. 579


(Filed 9 October, 1946.)

Criminal Law § 17c—

The court may impose sentence upon a plea of nolo contendere as upon a plea of guilty, and defendant’s contention that the court could not pronounce judgment upon such plea without first determining his guilt or innocence is without merit.

Appeal by defendant from Gwyn, J., at April Term, 1946, of Aveey.

Criminal prosecution on indictment charging violation of certain provisions of the prohibition law.

The defendant entered a plea of nolo contendere, and from the judgment pronounced appealed, assigning error.

Attorney-General McMullan and Assistant Attorneys-General Bruton, Rhodes, and Moody for the State.

Charles Hutchins for defendant.

*580Per Curiam.

The defendant contends that notwithstanding his plea of nolo contendere, the court could not pronounce judgment without determining his guilt or innocence. The contention is without merit. A plea of nolo contendere is equivalent to a plea of guilty, in so far as it gives the court power to punish; and the court may impose sentence thereon as upon a plea of guilty. S. v. Parker, 220 N. C., 416, 17 S. E. (2d), 475; S. v. Burnett, 174 N. C., 796, 93 S. E., 473.