Traffic Citation

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A Traffic Citation: Your Rights & Responsibilities


The following information does not apply to cases requiring a mandatory court appearance.

What will happen if I appear in court on the date on my citation?

The date on your citation is the date of your initial appearance. An initial appearance is your opportunity to enter a plea to the charge. You may plead guilty, no contest, or not guilty. The initial appearance is not the trial date. If you plead guilty or no contest, the court will find you guilty and the matter will be resolved at the initial appearance. Be prepared to pay the ticket at that time. There is no guarantee that your ticket will be reduced. Your ticket may already be written for the minimum forfeiture and points.

Must I appear in court on the date set forth on my citation?

You may avoid appearing in court by sending the bail amount prior to your court date. If bail is posted and you do not appear in court, you will be found guilty, and the bail money will be applied to forfeiture.

You may also avoid appearing in court if you enter your plea in writing. Mail your plea to: Outagamie County Clerk of Court, 320 S Walnut St Appleton, WI 54911, or FAX your plea by calling (920) 832-5115. Include the charge and violation date, the date you were scheduled to appear, the name of the police agency that issued your ticket, the ticket number, your current mailing address and phone number. This plea must be received before the court date on the citation. If your plea is not guilty, a court date for a pretrial conference will be mailed to you. You MUST appear at the pretrial conference.

If you do not post bail money and you also fail to enter a plea in person or by writing, a judgment will be entered against you for the amount of the ticket. From the date of judgment, you will be allowed no more than 30 days to pay. Failure to pay may result in a suspension of your drivers license, and/or a civil judgment entered(12% interest per year will be charged), certification of your debt to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue for tax intercept, and your case will be turned over to a collection agency.

Can I change the court date?

No. It is not necessary to change your court date. If you are unable to attend the scheduled court date, you would enter your plea in writing by mail or fax. This must be received BEFORE your court date.

I wish to plead not guilty, how do I do that and what will happen in court?

You may plead not guilty either by appearing in court on the date on your citation, or by entering a not guilty plea in writing by mail or FAX prior to the court date. Mail the written plea of not guilty to: Outagamie County Clerk of Court, 320 S Walnut St, Appleton WI 54911, or FAX your plea by calling (920) 832-5115. Include the charge and violation date, the date you were scheduled to appear, the name of the police agency that issued you your ticket, the ticket number, your current mailing address and phone number. This must be received before the court date on your citation.

After you plead not guilty, the case will be scheduled for a pretrial conference. You must attend the pretrial conference. After the pretrial conference, the case will be scheduled for final conference or trial. You have the right to a jury trial. If you want to preserve this right to a jury trial, you must make a written demand for a jury trial and post jury fees within ten (10) days following the date of your initial appearance. Jury fees are not refundable.