Traffic & Forfeiture Citation FAQs


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

A.  The date on your citation is your opportunity to have a pretrial conference to attempt resolution of the case with the District Attorney's Office if your citation was issued by the Washington County Sheriff's Department or the Wisconsin State patrol.  If your citation was issued by another law enforcement agency, a representative from the agency will be available to speak to you.  If you reach an agreement, a Stipulation and Order will be filed with the court.  If you do not reach an agreement, a form will be filed with the court indicating that an agreement has not been reached and the case will be set for a court trial at a later date.

Q.  Must I appear in court on the date set forth on my citation and can the court date be changed?

A.  It is not mandatory that you appear in court; however, the court date cannot be changed.  If you are unable to attend the scheduled court date and you wish to have a pretrial conference or a court trial, a not guilty plea must be entered in writing by the end of the day. on the court date set forth on your citation.  You will receive a notice of a pretrial conference or court trial date in the mail approximately two weeks following your initial court date.  Failure to make a plea in writing or to appear in court by the scheduled court date may result in a finding of guilt and the imposition of a forfeiture amount.

Q.  How do I enter a not guilty plea?

A.  You may enter a "not guilty" plea at the pretrial conference which will be held on the date listed on your citation or you may submit a written "not guilty" plea by mail or fax.  The citation payment envelope you received from the issuing agency contains information for pleading "not guilty" and may be used for this purpose.

If you choose to fax your plea, include the court date, name of the issuing agency/police department, citation number, date of violation, your current mailing address and phone number and fax to Washington County Clerk of Courts, 262-335-4776.

All not guilty pleas must be received by the end of the day. on the court date set forth on your citation.  Payment of the citation in full should be included at the time of entering a not guilty plea.  After your appearance date, you will be notified by mail of a pretrial conference date or court trial date.

Q.  Can the citation be paid without entering any plea?

A.  If you do not wish to have a pretrial conference or court trial, the citation may be paid without entering a plea.  It must be paid on or before the scheduled court date.  You will be found guilty by default and the bond amount will be applied to the citation.  The case will be considered closed.

Q.  When is the amount on the citation due and how can it be paid?

A.  You are required to pay the citation in full before the court date regardless of your plea.  You can pay in person at the Clerk of Courts office with cash, check, money order, or a credit card.  If making payment by mail, a check or money order must be sent.  Make checks and money orders payable to the Clerk of Courts.  Credit card payments may be made by contacting PayTrust Solutions at 1-866-480-8552.  Anytime payment is made by credit card, there is an additional fee.  If your fine/forfeiture is reduced or you are found "Not Guilty", you will receive a refund.

If you are unable to pay the bond amount stated on the citation on or before the court date, you must contact the Clerk of Courts office at 262-335-4341 to request an extension.

Q.  How is the dollar amount on my citation determined?

A.  The dollar amount written on your citation consists of a base forfeiture amount and statutory surcharges and fees.

Q.  What if I don't pay my citation?

A.  If you are found guilty and you fail to pay, it may result in a suspension of your driver's license for up to two years.  For certain DNR violations, your Chapter 29 privileges may be revoked.  In addition to a suspension or revocation, a civil judgment may be entered against you, which becomes a lien against any real estate you may own, statutory interest will be charged, your tax refund may be intercepted, a warrant may be issued for your arrest, and the debt may be referred to a collection agency.