Wisconsin Tickets and Violations
The state of Wisconsin issues citations for a variety of driving infractions. There’s usually a code associated with the violation inscribed on the ticket, and you’re required to follow the directives to avoid consequences like license suspension. Most minor infractions can be settled by paying a fine, but some will necessitate a court appearance.
It’s important to have a good idea of what traffic tickets are possible before you hit the road. Here’s an overview of Wisconsin’s driving laws and penalties, as well as some tips on what to do once you’ve been issued a ticket.
Traffic tickets usually fall under the category of strict-liability offenses, which means that criminal intent is factored out completely. If there is proof you committed the act – usually a law enforcement officer’s testimony – then the law can be enforced without further process. Practically speaking, this means you don’t have to go to court and bother a judge every time you get a speeding ticket.
Moving and Non-Moving Violations
Many infractions you can commit with your car have nothing to with your driving. Cars are carefully regulated by the state of Wisconsin, and all proper safety features and identifying markers have to be in place at all times. These kinds of violations are called non-moving, for obvious reasons. They include but are not limited to:
- Parking in an illegal zone (near a fire hydrant, bus stop, etc.)
- Being on the road with expired license plates or vehicle registration
- Leaving your car running and unattended
Equally obvious is the flip side: moving violations. These are the bread-and-butter of the highway patrol, and the list includes:
- OWI (driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol)
- Driving without a seat belt
Besides the fine – which can be considerable if the infraction was serious – the state of Wisconsin operates on a point system for licensed drivers. Violations of the rules of the road mean points on your record, graded according to the severity of the act.
The system ranges from 2 points for obstructing traffic all the way to 6 points for trying to evade the police. Points stay on your driving record unless you work hard to remove them through sponsored programs, like a DMV-approved Failure to Yield course.
Points can lead to your license being suspended or revoked, and usually mark a dramatic increase in your car insurance premiums.
What You Can Do
Paying the fine associated with a ticket implies a guilty plea for the offense. If you consider the ticket unjust, consider hiring a traffic ticket attorney and defending yourself in court. A successful plea can reduce the amount of points placed on your record and save you money.
If tickets become a problem for you, consider a defensive driving course that could help you avoid more violations. Driving safely is always the best way to fight a ticket.