Traffic Ticket Fines and Penalties in Wisconsin
Wisconsin speeding fines aren’t the only traffic penalty you’ll run into in the state. There are all kinds of Wisconsin traffic tickets and fines, ranging from simple parking tickets to operating while intoxicated (OWI) charges. On top of this, the fines differ depending on which area of the state you were cited in, as well as whether your court is a municipal or a circuit court. While every ticket comes with a corresponding fine, that’s not the only money you’ll be shelling out for a traffic violation conviction; you’ll also face separate fees.
Traffic Ticket Fees
Every case is different, but depending on the violation you committed and the type of license you carry, some of the fees and surcharges you may have to pay include:
- Court Support Services fee
- Justice Information System fee
- Driver Improvement surcharge
Drivers License Suspension and Revocation
Another common consequence of a traffic violation (or an accumulation of traffic violations) is the loss of driving privileges. There are two types of driving privilege loss: suspension and revocation. A Wisconsin suspended license is temporary, while revocation is termination of your license, which typically lasts longer. You will have to apply for a new drivers license in order to drive again.
Some examples of offenses that could make you lose your driving privileges include:
- Racking up 12 points on your driving record within 12 months
- Being at fault in a car accident that resulted in death
OWI and Drivers Under 21
Wisconsin OWI laws are harsh on any driver, but for underage individuals, the penalties are even worse. If you are under the age of 21 and are caught with any amount of alcohol in your system while driving, you will be arrested, and if convicted, will face driver’s license revocation.
There are two types of offenses for Wisconsin commercial drivers: Serious offenses and Major offenses. You are required to inform your employer within 30 days of receiving a Wisconsin traffic ticket, even if you were not driving a commercial vehicle at the time.
Serious offenses could be any of the following:
- Improper lane change
- Driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) without having your commercial driver’s license (CDL) with you
- Following too closely
- Driving any type of vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above 0.08%
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Driving a CMV with a suspended/revoked/canceled CDL
Certain convictions cause your CDL to be disqualified. The following violations will result in the disqualification of your CDL for anywhere between 180 days and 1 year:
- Violating a driver/out-of-service vehicle order during the transport of nonhazardous materials
- Violating a driver/out-of-service vehicle order during the transport of hazardous materials that must be placarded, or while operating a motor vehicle that is designed to carry at least 16 passengers
How to Pay Your Wisconsin Traffic Ticket
By paying your Wisconsin traffic ticket fine, you are admitting guilt for the violation you were cited for. However, the good thing about pleading guilty is that you avoid the hassle and legal fees that come with fighting your citation in court. The most important thing is that you take action before the court date listed on your ticket. If you don’t, the DMV will suspend your driver’s license.
Unless your ticket specifically says "Mandatory Appearance," you are allowed to pay your citation fine before the deadline without going to court. Your ticket will provide instructions on how to make your payment. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to pay your ticket in one of the following ways:
- In person
- By phone
- By mail
You will need to have your citation number no matter which method you choose to make your payment, so be sure you don’t lose your ticket. Remember that whether you got a Wisconsin speeding fine or a ticket for running a red light, you need to respond to your citation in some way before the date listed on the ticket.