Fight Traffic Ticket in WisconsinPage Overview
You have a choice of three pleas: guilty, no contest and not guilty. Regardless of plea, it must be entered before the due date listed on the traffic ticket. If you cannot find the citation, read what steps to take in our Lost Traffic Ticket page.
(Plead Guilty or No Contest)
- Pay the fine
- Option to plea bargain penalties
- Incur points on your driving record (could lead to license suspension/revocation)
- Possibly incur increase on auto insurance rates
- Possibly have points reduced by attending traffic school
Learn more about
Pay Traffic Ticket »
(Plead Not Guilty)
- Contest traffic ticket via trial
- Choose to represent yourself or hire an attorney
- Possibly lose option to plea bargain for lesser penalties
- No penalties if found not guilty, but must pay court/attorney fees
Learn more by reading below
Challenging your WI traffic citation means:
- You are exercising your right to a trial by court with the intent of having the charges reduced or dismissed.
- You may represent yourself or hire a traffic ticket lawyer to present your case.
- Penalties and fines will be dropped if the court rules in your favor. Payment of court and legal fees will still be required.
- You will be required to pay all fines, court and legal fees if the court finds you guilty. Points will be assigned to your driving record, leading to possible loss of Wisconsin driving privileges and increased car insurance rates.
Pleading Guilty or No Contest
You, of course, also have the option to plead guilty or no contest. Both pleas require nothing more than paying the ticket fine before the appearance date listed on the citation. Our Pay Traffic Ticket page has all the details.
Avoid License Suspension and Arrest
Neglecting your traffic ticket is not advised. The Department of Transportation (DOT) will suspend your WI driver's license. And the presiding court may:
- Issue a bench warrant for your arrest
- Enter a civil judgement against you, allowing for a lien to be placed against any real estate you own
- Charge you interest
- Seize your tax refund
- Refer your case to a collection agency
You have two options on how to enter your not guilty plea:
Appear at the court on the date and time listed on the ticket for a pretrial conference with either a court officer or a representative from the District Attorney's office. If no agreement is reached, a trial date, at a future time, will be set.
Submit your not guilty plea in writing before the citation's appearance date expires. Include:
- Your not guilty plea
- Your name
- Citation number
- Court date
- Name of the citing law enforcement agency (Sheriff, State Patrol, etc.)
- Violation date
- Your current mailing address and phone number
Either mail to the court address, or, if allowed, send by fax. The court will then mail you a pretrial conference date, requiring mandatory attendance.
Consulting a traffic ticket lawyer will increase your chances for a favorable verdict. This may mean reduced charges or outright dismissal. And depending on your driving record, this may rescue your WI driver's license from suspension and keep car insurance rates in check.
If you decide against representation, the onus falls on you for presenting a strong case. This may require subpoenaing witnesses and ordering a driving record as evidence.
After hearing both sides, the court will issue a verdict. If found guilty, you can expect:
- Points assigned to your driving record
- Depending on your driving history, the possible suspension or revocation of your WI driver's license
- Increased car insurance rates
If you disagree with the judge's decision, you own the right to appeal. Contact the court clerk on how to proceed.
Regardless of verdict, check your driving record after the trial. Verify the point total. If you detect any inaccuracies, contact the DMV. If your point total is nearing Wisconsin's suspension mark for points, look into the state's point reduction option.
Violations on a driving record equate into expensive auto insurance rates. Because all providers have different policies regarding citations, explore your options for a more budget-friendly car insurance policy by comparing rates online.Other Topics in This Section