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Wisconsin Court Records

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How to Fight a Traffic Ticket in Wisconsin

Wisconsin state laws outline traffic laws and penalties for traffic offenders. The state categorizes traffic offenses into speeding, moving, and non-moving citations. The Wisconsin State Department of Transportation, in partnership with the State Patrol, is responsible for issuing citations to offending road users.

Receiving a traffic citation does not necessarily translate to being guilty. It only means that the individual is ready to comply with the laws of the state. All traffic tickets in Wisconsin necessitate a court appearance. In court, the defendant has one of three options. Guilty, no contest, or non-guilty plea. Both guilty and no contest pleas mean a conviction by state laws. Except for more serious traffic offenses that require a full trial, most traffic citations get resolved in Wisconsin by posting bail. Upon receiving it, the court closes the case but reports a conviction to the state’s Department of Transportation. Convictions show up as points on the driving record of the individual. It could generate problems after the incident, such as rising insurance rates and the possibility of losing driving privileges.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple record. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.

Third-party sites are independent from government sources, and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.

Is it Worth it to Fight a Traffic Ticket in Wisconsin?

It is the right of Wisconsin Residents to fight a traffic ticket if they are confident of the facts and evidence of the case. Suppose they win the case in court; they do not have to bear the consequences of a driving conviction. However, parties should have all the facts of the state’s traffic laws and understand them to increase the chances of a good outcome.

Ways to Fight a Traffic Ticket in Wisconsin

By default, all traffic citations in Wisconsin require a court appearance. For persons who wish to fight a traffic citation, this default appearance is not the same as the trial date. It is called an initial court appearance. Here, the defendant gets to enter a not-guilty plea. The court also offers the opportunity for a negotiation with the prosecutor. If all negotiation fails, the individual receives the trial’s date and time before exiting the court. Defendants have the option of requesting a jury trial. Interested parties must indicate their interest within ten days from the date of initial appearance or by mail. Applicants must also pay $36 for the jury trial. Failure to do this within this time frame means that the individual has waived the right to a jury trial. On the date of trial, the prosecutor presents the case before the judge. The defendant gets a chance to defend himself or herself. If it is a jury trial, the judge allows the jury to review and make their recommendations on the case. In a non-jury trial, the judge is responsible for making all decisions. If the judge finds the defendant guilty, the guilty party must proceed to fulfill all the ticket obligations.

How to Fight a Traffic Ticket Without Going to Court in Wisconsin

Ticketed persons can opt to send their not-guilty plea by mail to the court on or before the initial appearance date. Although it is more convenient, some county authorities like Jefferson do not allow the prosecutor to negotiate possibilities, and the courts do not allow phone conversation for this purpose. Some counties like Outagamie schedule a pretrial conference for which attendance is mandatory. To plead not guilty by mail, send the following information to the Clerk of Court:

  • Plea
  • Charge
  • Scheduled date of initial appearance stated on the citation
  • Name of the police agency issuing the citation
  • Ticket number
  • Current phone number and mail address

The court responds by mailing a scheduled trial date in a written notice to the sender’s address.

How Do You Get a Traffic Ticket Reduced in Wisconsin?

There is no guarantee of a traffic ticket reduction in Wisconsin. It is the product of negotiations between the defendant and the prosecutor at the initial court appearance. However, there is a chance of a payment plan, provided the defendant appears in person to sign an official agreement.

Can you Get a Speeding Ticket Dismissed in Wisconsin?

The process of dismissing a speeding ticket in Wisconsin is the same as other types of traffic violation tickets. Either fight it in the court of law or negotiate a dismissal at the initial appearance. Other reasons that the court may dismiss a ticket are as follows:

  • If the prosecutor decides to drop the case;
  • If there are significant inconsistencies in the details of the ticket

What Happens if You Plead Guilty to a Traffic Ticket in Wisconsin?

Pleading guilty to a traffic ticket in Wisconsin can lead to higher insurance premium payments, a suspension/revocation of the driver’s license, and documentation that can serve as a potential source of litigation in the future. While pleading may give momentary relief from the law, there are secondary challenges that may surface.

How to Find a Traffic Ticket Attorney in Wisconsin

Consulting with an attorney may raise the chances of winning a traffic ticket case. A professional attorney’s experience and advice can be valuable in fighting a traffic ticket or getting the case dismissed. The Wisconsin Court System provides links to the directory of licensed attorneys in the state. Additionally, most law firms in Wisconsin advertise their services online. Search engines should return a list of traffic ticket lawyers available in the state.

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