In the law of the United States, an Alford plea is a plea in criminal court. In this plea, the defendant does not admit the act and asserts innocence, but admits that sufficient evidence exists with which the prosecution could likely convince a judge or jury to find the defendant guilty.
Upon receiving an Alford plea from a defendant, the court may immediately pronounce the defendant guilty and impose sentence as if the defendant had otherwise been convicted of the crime. However, in many states, such as Massachusetts, a plea which "admits sufficient facts" more typically results in the case being continued without a finding and later dismissed.
It is the prospect of an ultimate dismissal of charges which engenders most pleas of this type.