A plea of nolo contendere means that you do not contest the charges against you. A plea of nolo contendere cannot be used against you in the event of a subsequent civil suit for damages. When you enter a "no contest" plea, you must pay the fine specified for your violation.
By entering a plea of guilty you admit that law prohibits the act you are charged with, you did commit the act and you have no defense or excuse for your act. A plea of guilty may be used against you in a civil suit if there was a traffic accident. When you plead guilty, you must pay the fine specified for the violation.
A plea of "not guilty" means that you are informing the Court that you deny guilt or that you have a good defense for your case. When you enter a plea of Not Guilty to a charge, you must then request a pretrial conference. This is a mandatory hearing in which you are visiting with the Assistant City Attorney about the case. After the pretrial conference has been attended, should you not reach a plea agreement approved by the judge, you are able to request a trial by judge or a trial by jury.
You must speak on your own behalf unless an attorney represents you. In the State of Texas, no individual other than the defendant may enter a plea on behalf of another individual (except in cases where an attorney is retained.) This applies to spouses and all other family members as well. A defendant must enter a plea on his own behalf either in person or in writing. Payment received in the mail without a plea constitutes a plea of "no contest".