Receiving a traffic citation is usually a stressful event for most of us. As a result, questions may occur after you had time to reflect back on your individual situation. The following information is designed to answer questions you may have concerning the citation you have been issued.
DATES AND APPEARANCES: Your court appearance date and time
will be on the top of your
citation. Traffic Court is held on the first, third and fourth Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. unless there is a Holiday
or other scheduled activity.
MANDATORY APPEARANCE OR CRIMINAL CITATIONS: If your Citation
is marked as a
“Mandatory Appearance” or your citation is considered a criminal charge, you must appear in court.
If you do not, a warrant may be issued for your arrest for failure to appear.
CONTESTING CITATIONS: If you wish to contest the citation (only
if it is not a criminal charge) you
must file a not guilty plea in writing prior to 8:30 a.m. of the court intake date on your citation. You can
do this by mail, fax or by coming into the Clerk of Court’s Office and filling out a form. We do not
accept not guilty pleas by email. Address and fax numbers are on the Clerk of Court Website Home
Page. IF you fax your plea, PLEASE call to confirm it was received.
If you file a
not guilty plea (this applies only to non-criminal citations), you
will not need to appear in
court on the date shown on your citation. A pretrial notice will be mailed to you after the initial intake
date has passed (Court date on your citation.)
A pretrial is when you speak to the prosecuting attorney to see if
an agreement can be
reached. This conference may be done by phone only with State and County issued citations and
that information is on the notice, but it is your responsibility to call them. If your citation was issued by a
municipality, you will need to bring your citation with you and appear at the court house for the Pretrial
Conference. If you do not reach an agreement, your case will proceed to trial - you will also receive the
trail date with your pretrial notice. You will need to appear in person at the court trial.
JUDGMENTS: If you are not contesting the citation and do not
appear on the return date, a
default judgment will be granted. You will receive a default judgment in the mail. Failure to pay the fine
by the due date could result in a license suspension of up to two years or jail time depending on the
type of citation you received. Also, it is possible a money judgment and a tax intercept could be entered
against you or the unpaid amount could be turned over to a collection agency.
SUSPENSION/REVOCATION: All speeding citations that are 25 mph or
more over the
speed limit in a 55 mph or more zone have a mandatory 15 day license suspension. You will be notified
by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation of the start and end date of the suspension period. To
reinstate your license you must pay the DOT a $60.00 reinstatement fee. If you have question
regarding reinstatement you may contact the DOT in Madison by telephone at 1-608-266-2261 or
Website at http://www.dot.state.wi.us/drivers/drivers/revoke/reinstat.htm.