According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, most drivers have experienced that feeling of angst in the pit of their stomachs at the sight of flashing blue and red lights in their rearview mirror: roughly 112,000 people are ticketed for speeding each day in the United States. That equates to 1 in 6 drivers daily.

Wisconsin ranks 34th in the nation when it comes to issuing speeding tickets to drivers, and drivers of white cars and Toyota Camrys receive the most tickets on average. Wisconsin speeding ticket fines generally range from $200-$800, depending on how fast the officer alleges the person was traveling, and whether or not they were in a reduced speed zone at the time.

If you’re issued a speeding ticket, you may wonder about your options. Do I have to pay for this? Can I fight it?

Anyone can fight a speeding ticket in Wisconsin. However, navigating the legal system can be tricky.  Below are some tips to keep in mind if you are issued a speeding ticket:

If you decide to pay a Wisconsin speeding ticket…

  • You are entering a plea of guilty and formally admitting that you were speeding. 
  • You are waiving your right to contest the citation in court.
  • You must pay your fine by the due date, or you may incur additional costs.
  • Pleading guilty to the citation and paying the ticket may have an affect on your car insurance rates.  Contact your insurance agent with questions about how paying the ticket may affect your rate. 
  • Pleading guilty to the citation and paying the ticket may also cause you to incur demerit points on your driver’s record.  You can only incur a certain amount of demerit points per year before your license is suspended.  Contact the Wisconsin Department of Transportation or your local D.M.V. with questions about how many points are on your existing record and whether paying the ticket will cause you to be suspended. 
  • If you are Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) holder, you should contact an attorney before paying the ticket, as CDL drivers are subject to special rules with regard to traffic citations.

If you decide to fight a Wisconsin speeding ticket…

  • You must enter a “not guilty” plea with the court by mail or in person before the arraignment date listed on your ticket.
  • You will likely have a pre-trial meeting with the prosecutor to negotiate your case.
  • You may or may not go before a judge at the first hearing.
  • When you represent yourself in court, you are expected comply with the court rules.
  • If you hire an attorney to represent you, you do not need to appear at any court hearings (unless you are subpoenaed for trial).  Your attorney will appear for you.  If you choose to represent yourself, you must appear in person at all hearings. 
  • The fine on the ticket is the payoff amount; if you challenge the citation in court, you will most likely incur additional fees, which vary by county.

If you decide to fight a Wisconsin speeding ticket…

  • You must enter a “not guilty” plea with the court by mail or in person before the arraignment date listed on your ticket.
  • You will likely have a pre-trial meeting with the prosecutor to negotiate your case.
  • You may or may not go before a judge at the first hearing.
  • When you represent yourself in court, you are expected comply with the court rules.
  • If you hire an attorney to represent you, you do not need to appear at any court hearings (unless you are subpoenaed for trial).  Your attorney will appear for you.  If you choose to represent yourself, you must appear in person at all hearings. 
  • The fine on the ticket is the payoff amount; if you challenge the citation in court, you will most likely incur additional fees, which vary by county.

The best way to avoid a ticket is to practice safe driving and abide by the speed limit.  However, if you are cited with a traffic violation and wish to contest it, you should consider hiring an attorney to represent you.  Attorneys are familiar with local court decorum and customs, rules and regulations, and they are trained, professional negotiators.  The easiest way to ensure your fine amount is reduced or your charges are amended is to hire an attorney to negotiate on your behalf. 

Since 1883, the attorneys at Doar, Drill & Skow have represented families, individuals and businesses across Wisconsin and Minnesota in areas of personal injury, criminal defense, family law and divorce, civil litigation, estate planning, and trusts, workers compensation, and more. We are recognized as one of western Wisconsin’s most skilled and successful personal injury law firms and have built our reputation on what we achieve for our clients. We are committed to being your advocate, regardless of your circumstances.

DISCLAIMER: The Doar, Drill, and Skow blog is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal or medical advice. References to laws are based on general legal practices and vary by location. Information reported may come from secondary news sources. We do handle these types of cases, but whether or not the individuals and/or loved ones involved in these types of situations choose to be represented by a law firm is a personal choice we respect. Should you find any of the information incorrect, we welcome you to contact us with corrections.