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How to Handle a Speeding Ticket in Wisconsin

Getting a speeding ticket in Wisconsin can be an frustrating experience. However, knowing your options and rights can help you navigate the process smoothly. This comprehensive guide will provide you with everything you need to know about speeding tickets in Wisconsin – from fines and points on your license, to fighting your ticket in court or taking defensive driving classes.

An Overview of Speeding Laws in Wisconsin

Wisconsin takes speeding very seriously. The fines for speeding depend on how much over the speed limit you were driving.

Here is an overview of the fines for speeding in Wisconsin:

  • 1-10 mph over the limit: $175- $300 fine
  • 11-19 mph over the limit: $200 – $400 fine
  • 20-29 mph over the limit: $225 – $600 fine
  • 30 mph or more over the limit: $600 – $800 fine

Other factors like where the violation happened (school or construction zone), time of day, and your driving record can increase the amount of the fine.

In addition to fines, getting a speeding ticket in Wisconsin means:

  • You will get demerit points on your license. Each ticket is 4 points.
  • Your insurance rates will likely go up. A single ticket can increase your rates by 15% – 30%. Multiple tickets can increase rates by 50% – 100%.
  • Serious speeding infractions will stay on your record for 5-10 years.

What Should You Do After Getting a Speeding Ticket?

What Should You Do After Getting a Speeding Ticket?

When that red and blue light flashes behind you, it gets your heart racing. Here are the steps to take after getting pulled over for speeding in Wisconsin:

1. Pull over safely. Turn on your blinkers and pull over quickly but safely. Make sure to pull off the roadway if possible.

2. Stay in your vehicle. Turn off your car and radio and stay buckled in unless directed otherwise by the officer. Keep your hands on the wheel to avoid any miscommunication.

3. Be polite and cooperate. When the officer approaches, be polite and cooperate fully. Avoid arguing with the officer or admitting guilt.

4. Provide your documentation. Give the officer your driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance if asked. Avoid reaching into your glovebox suddenly. Let the officer know if you need to unbuckle your seatbelt.

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5. Get the officer’s information. Write down the officer’s name and badge number along with the police department. This ensures you have the right information to contest the ticket.

6. Review the ticket carefully. Make sure all the information is correct including your identifying and vehicle information along with the date, time, location and statute cited.

7. Sign the ticket. Sign the ticket to acknowledge receiving it, not that you are admitting guilt. Refusing to sign can result in being arrested.

Following these steps protects your rights and avoids escalating a speeding stop into a more serious situation. Be ready for your options once you have the ticket in hand.

Paying a Speeding Ticket in Wisconsin

Once you have received a speeding ticket in Wisconsin, you have several options on how to proceed:

  • Pay the ticket. If you choose not to contest, you can pay the ticket to close the case. This results in fines, fees and points on your license.
  • Request a payment plan. If you need more time, contact the court clerk to set up installment payments. An initial payment is usually required.
  • Extend your payment deadline. Courts understand circumstances arise. Simply call the clerk to request an extension to pay. But don’t delay too long.
  • Enroll in traffic school. Pleading no contest and taking an approved traffic safety course results in your ticket being dismissed. You avoid points but must still pay fees.
  • Request a hearing. Exercise your right to a hearing where you can contest the ticket before a judge. The officer must prove the case.
  • Hire an attorney. Legal representation increases your chances of negotiating a plea deal or getting the charges significantly reduced or dismissed.

Always get proof your ticket is paid or closed by the court. You want to avoid an open ticket leading to a failure to pay/appear warrant down the road.

Contesting a Speeding Ticket in Wisconsin Court

Fighting a speeding ticket in court may enable you to reduce the fine, avoid points on your license, or get the ticket dismissed completely. Here’s how to build your case:

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Enter a plea. After receiving the ticket, enter a plea of not guilty (either by mail or online) to exercise your right to a hearing. This must be done before the court date.

Request evidence. File a discovery motion to obtain evidence in your case like calibration records for the radar gun used. Review it closely for any flaws.

Look for errors. Mistakes on the ticket like wrong license plate or statutes cited can weaken the prosecution’s case.

Question the officer’s observance. Radar guns have limitations and visual estimation of speed can be inaccurate. Challenge if conditions prevented proper observation.

Raise reasonable doubt. Use all evidence and questions to establish doubt on the prosecution meeting the burden of proof. For example, what if your speedometer showed you were within the limit?

Negotiate a plea deal. Demonstrating flaws in the case may lead the prosecutor to offer a plea bargain like a lesser charge. But be sure you can fulfill the terms.

Having an experienced traffic attorney gives you the best chance at beating a speeding ticket in Wisconsin. But exercising your rights and actively contesting can still go a long way.

Defensive Driving Schools in Wisconsin

Defensive driving schools teach safe driving techniques and awareness. Completing an approved course allows you to have a speeding ticket dismissed in Wisconsin. Here are key things to know:

  • You must not have had a ticket dismissed this way in the past 3 years.
  • You can only dismiss one violation every 12 months using traffic school.
  • The court must approve your eligibility and traffic school choice.
  • Online, classroom and virtual class options are available through approved providers.
  • Length requirement is 4 hours for basic and 8 hours for motorcycle training.
  • There is a fee to the school in addition to court costs.
  • Completing the class results in avoiding points but paying court fees.

Taking defensive driving proactively can also help prevent you from getting pulled over for speeding in the first place. Look for courses that teach:

  • Identifying proper speed limits and visibility conditions.
  • Importance of adjusting speed to traffic flow.
  • Dangers of speeding in residential and school zones.
  • How to properly enter/exit highways.
  • Managing speed and space cushions.
  • Proper use of horn and signals.
  • Driver attitude and lack of patience.
  • Actions for avoiding collisions and managing skids.
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Defensive driving provides key skills to improve awareness and safety for you, your passengers and everyone sharing the road.

Other Tips for Avoiding Speeding Tickets

Other Tips for Avoiding Speeding Tickets

Here are some additional methods to help avoid speeding tickets in Wisconsin:

  • Allow extra time. Rushing increases your risk of speeding. Allow plenty of time to reach your destination without needing to speed.
  • Use cruise control. Set your cruise control a few mph below the limit to avoid unintentionally speeding up. Use cautiously in rainy, icy or snowy conditions.
  • Know the limits. Be aware of speed limit changes in different zones and areas. Don’t rely solely on flow of traffic to dictate your speed.
  • Watch your speedometer. Check your speedometer regularly to maintain awareness of your speed, especially when accelerating or going downhill.
  • Avoid aggressive driving. Tailgating, rapid acceleration and lane weaving can draw the attention of police and lead to stops.
  • Limit distractions. Don’t eat, adjust music or use your phone while driving. Stay focused on the road.

Being a safe, smart and patient driver is your best defense against speeding tickets. But if you do get pulled over, use the guidance in this article to navigate the process while protecting your rights and minimizing the impact on your driving record and insurance rates.

Conclusion

Speeding tickets in Wisconsin should not be taken lightly given the fines, insurance impacts and points on your license. However, this guide has equipped you to handle a ticket properly. You now know the smartest options for payment as well as effective strategies to contest a speeding violation in court. Taking defensive driving and proactively avoiding speeding are also solid preventative measures. Use this advice to become a safer driver and limit costly encounters with speeding tickets in the future. The open road beckons – travel it responsibly.

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