Since most people are concerned about appearing in traffic court, this is offered to help you understand Wisconsin traffic court procedure for a Wisconsin speeding ticket. The traffic court has jurisdiction over traffic violations and non-traffic ordinance violations. You have a right to be represented by a Wisconsin traffic attorney, or you may go ahead without one. If you want a Wisconsin attorney, you must retain one at your own expense. The traffic court cannot provide you with a Public Defender, regardless of your economic status.
WISCONSIN TRAFFIC COURT CONDUCT
This is a court of law and the rules of proper decorum will apply. Please remain quiet while the court is in session. This is a courtesy to other speeding ticket defendants as well as the court. Persons who fail to conduct themselves in an orderly manner may be cited for contempt. You should not wear shorts, chew gum or have you cell phone on.
INITIAL APPEARANCE FOR SPEEDING TICKET
Your initial Wisconsin speeding ticket appearance is called an arraignment. When your name is called by the Court Officer, move promptly to a position in front of the bench. The Judge will then inform you of the Wisconsin speeding ticket charge or charges you are facing and of the consequences if you are convicted, i.e., traffic demerit points, minimum and maximum forfeitures, and any suspension or revocation of your Wisconsin driving license privileges.
Defendants who plead Not Guilty will be assigned a pretrial date and, in most cases, sign a signature bond and be released. At the pretrial hearing, each defendant will have an opportunity to discuss his or her case with an Attorney from the City Attorney's office. The purpose of this hearing is to try and settle cases prior to trial. If you fail to appear at the pretrial hearing set for you by the court, default judgment will be entered against you.
Defendants who plead Guilty or No Contest to their Wisconsin speeding ticket will be given an opportunity to make a brief statement. The Judge will then review the police reports and, depending on the seriousness of the present charge and any prior record of relevant traffic offenses, impose an appropriate fine. Payment of a fine may be deferred for a reasonable time (up to 60 days) if requested by the defendant. If you fail to pay your fine, you may be committed to jail for up to ninety(90) days or have your driver's license suspended for up to two(2) years. Wisconsin can have your driver's license suspended even if you are from another state.
WISCONSIN SPEEDING TICKET PLEAS
At the initial appearance, a defendant may enter one of the following pleas:
* If you plead GUILTY, it is an admission of guilt to the Wisconsin speeding ticket charge or charges against you.
* A plea of NO CONTEST means that you do not wish to contest the charge or charges against you. Although such a plea will result in your conviction, you will not be admitting any liability should there be a subsequent lawsuit filed in a Wisconsin County Circuit Court for personal injury or property damage arising from the incident for which you were cited. An example of this would be a traffic accident. If you were the driver who was charged with failure to yield the right-of-way, a No Contest plea to this charge is not an admission of guilt, and could not be used against you in any lawsuit for damages arising from the accident.
* When pleas of Guilty or No Contest are made, a forfeiture (fine) will be assessed against you. Before this is done, you will be given an opportunity to tell the Judge about any mitigating circumstances surrounding the speeding ticket charge which might affect the amount of the forfeiture imposed.
* If you plead NOT GUILTY, it means that you feel you have some defense to the charge or believe it is incorrect. If you are in doubt as to which plea to enter, you should plead Not Guilty.
WISCONSIN TRAFFIC TICKETS
If you are found Guilty of a traffic offense, in addition to any judgment imposed by the court, the Wisconsin State Department of Transportation may assess demerit points against your driving record, which may result in the suspension or revocation of your Wisconsin driver's license. The assessment of 12 or more demerit points in one year will result in the loss of your license.
Any person holding a probationary license will be assessed additional demerit points for the second and all subsequent violations. Juveniles cited for traffic ordinance violations are subject to the same forfeitures and court procedures as adults.
WISCONSIN DRUNK DRIVING CASES
If you are charged with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant (Wisconsin drunk driving) or with a blood alcohol concentration greater than .10% and enter a Not Guilty plea, you have a right to request a jury trial.
To secure a jury trial, you must file a written request with the Court and submit the appropriate jury fee for a six person jury within ten (10) days of your first court appearance. If this is not done, you lose your right to a jury trial but are still entitled to a court trial before the Judge. If a proper jury trial demand is made, your case will be transferred to the County Circuit Court. The Circuit Court Clerk will then notify you of your jury trial date.
JUVENILES WITH WISCONSIN TRAFFIC TICKETS
The Traffic Court has jurisdiction over persons between 12 and 17 years of age. Juveniles have the same rights as adults with respect to pleas. They also have a right to a private (closed) hearing, but may waive this right. A forfeiture may be entered against a juvenile found Guilty of a traffic or non-traffic ordinance violation. If the juvenile is found Guilty of a traffic violation and fails to pay the forfeiture within the sixty (60) days given, his/her driver's license may be suspended for up to two (2) years. If the juvenile is found Guilty of a non-traffic ordinance violation, a forfeiture will be imposed with an alternative number of community service hours. If the juvenile fails to perform the community service or to pay the forfeiture, his/her Wisconsin drivers license may be suspended for up to two (2) years. If the offense is alcohol related,the driver's license of the defendant may also be suspended.
WISCONSIN SPEEDING TICKET TRIAL
It is the prosecutor who bears the burden of proving the Wisconsin speeding ticket case against each defendant by clear, convincing and satisfactory evidence.
The prosecution will produce its witnesses to testify as to the facts and circumstances surrounding your case. You or your lawyer will be permitted to cross-examine each witness. When the prosecution has completed its case, you and your witnesses will be given the opportunity to testify and will be subjected to cross-examination by the prosecution.
After all the evidence has been presented, the prosecution and the defense will be given an opportunity to summarize their respective cases to the court through brief argument. Thereafter, the Judge will determine whether you are Guilty or Not Guilty.
If the Judge finds you Not Guilty, you will be discharged and the Wisconsin traffic citation dismissed. If you are found Guilty, the judge will impose a forfeiture, taking into consideration the seriousness of the violation and your past record. If necessary, you may have up to sixty (60) days to pay the forfeiture and costs.
WISCONSIN SPEEDING TICKET APPEALS
If you are found Guilty, you have the right to appeal your case to the County Circuit Court. All appeals must be filed in writing in the original Court office within twenty (20) days after a Guilty finding is entered. If you fail to meet this time limit, you lose your right to appeal. The appeal fee, forfeiture and costs must be posted upon filing the appeal. You have the right to a Jury Trial on appeal, upon payment of appropriate fees.
If you know of a Wisconsin traffic attorney that should be listed on this page, please click on the link at the top of the page and give us his or her contact information.
You may be allowed to take online traffic school and keep the Wisconsion speeding ticket off your record. Check HERE for your specific jurisdiction. Be sure to verify with the clerk of court that you are eligible
CDL Truck drivers are subject to a completely different set of rules that the normal driving public. Under the new Federal rules any speeding ticket that is 15mph over the speed limit is classified as a serious CDL violation. There are also a number of other Wisconsin traffic tickets that are classified as serious. If a truck driver receives just one serious speeding ticket, he may be terminated from his job. If he should receive two within three years, he will lose his truck driving job since his CDL driving license will be suspended.
In general a truck driver or anyone that drives a company vehicle should fight all Wisconsin speeding tickets even if you have to retain a Wisconsin traffic attorney.
Many jurisdictions in Wisconsin are now using Laser as their speeding ticket measuring device. The problem with most laser detectors is that by the time it goes off the officer already has your speed locked in. Laser Jammers currently are not illegal like radar jammers.
Click HERE to see our radar and laser detector recommendations and laser jammers.
NEED AN ANSWER ON ANY SUBJECT, MEDICAL, AUTOMOTIVE, LEGAL, PETS OR SPEEDING TICKET QUESTION RIGHT NOW? NOTE THAT A DEPOSIT IS REQUIRED
Demerit points are assessed to drivers when convicted of a moving violation, beginning on the date of the violation. The courts send the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Division of Motor Vehicles records of all convictions for moving traffic violations. Persons who hold a probationary license are assessed double points for the second and all subsequent points.
When 12 or more demerit points are accumulated in one year, a suspension of the driver privilege is required, for a minimum of two months. Most convictions remain on driver records for five years from the date of conviction, except for serious offenses or alcohol-related convictions, which remain on the record for 55 years.
No points are assessed for convictions from other states, however, the conviction is entered on the Wisconsin driver record.
Click on the link below for a complete listing of the Wisconsin Point System.
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