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Hefner's son pleads no contest to domestic violence charge

Relationships are often very complicated in nature. Sometimes when a Houston couple gets into a verbal confrontation, emotions run wild and the situation can very quickly escalate out of control. In these types of situations, even the most cool, collected people can act out of character, doing things they normally would never consider.

Recently, Hugh Hefner's son, Marston, pled no contest to charges of domestic violence. The charges emerged from a quarrel with his girlfriend that apparently got out of hand. According to reports, the 21-year-old man's girlfriend had a visible bruise on her shortly after the incident occurred. As a result of his plea, the young man will face sentencing for a charge of "corporal injury to a cohabitant" in a few months.

This domestic violence charge carries a variety of penalties in Hefner's home state. The sentence in this particular case is expected to include one year of violence counseling and a restraining order in effect for three years.

In the state of Texas, and across the country, pleading no contest is not exactly the same as pleading guilty to a crime. In essence, this particular option indicates that an individual does not wish to challenge the accusations leveled against them. Sometimes, a no contest plea comes as the result of a plea bargain arranged between the defendant and prosecutors. Furthermore, oftentimes pleading no contest can have implications for further legal action. In some cases, defendants waive their ability to appeal a charge down the road after entering no contest in their original trial.

The hope is that Hefner and his attorney sat down and discussed all relevant facts of his case before deciding that this plea was the best way to proceed with his defense. A trustworthy criminal defense attorney will help their clients consider all options and determine what is best in each unique circumstance.

Source: Reuters, "Hugh Hefner's son Marston pleads to domestic violence," March 21, 2012

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