Traffic Court FAQ
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General Questions
Traffic Citation Rights and Responsibilities

*Exceeding a 55 MPH or higher speed limit by 25 or more MPH will result in a driver license suspension equal to 1 day for every MPH over the posted speed limit.  Example:  If cited for 75 MPH in a 55 MPH zone, this would result in a 20 day driver license suspension. 

The following information does not apply to cases requiring a MANDATORY COURT APPEARANCE.

Do I have to appear in Court on the date on my citation?

If you wish to plead not guilty, you may do this by mail without appearing in Court on the date on your citation.  Please refer to section entitled “I Wish to Plead Not Guilty, How do I do that and what will happen in Court?”  If you do not post bail money and you also fail to appear in court on your court date, you will be found guilty and a default judgment will be entered.  If you fail to pay the forfeiture amount within 30 days, your license will be suspended.  Contempt of court proceedings may also be brought against you.

What will happen if I appear in Court on the date shown on my citation?

The date of your citation is the date of your initial appearance.  This appearance is your opportunity to enter a plea to the charge.  You may plead guilty, no contest, or not guilty.  The initial appearance is not the trial date.  If you plead guilty or no contest, the Court will find you guilty and the matter will be defaulted and judgment entered.  If you plead not guilty, your case will be scheduled for a pre-trial at a later date, which you must appear for.

Can I change the court date?

No.  It is not necessary to change your court date.  If you are unable to attend the scheduled court date, you would enter your plea in writing by mail or fax.  This must be received BEFORE your court date.

I wish to plead not guilty. How do I do that and what will happen in Court?

You may plead not guilty by entering a not guilty plea in writing by mail or by FAX before the court date.  Mail or FAX the written not guilty plea to Iowa County Clerk of Court, 222 N. Iowa Street, Dodgeville, WI  53533 (FAX #608-935-0386).  You must include the charge, the date you were scheduled to appear, the name of the police agency who issued the citation, the citation number, your current mailing address and phone number.  This must be received by the court date listed on the citation. 

 After you plead not guilty, the case will be scheduled for a pre-trial conference to discuss the matter with the prosecuting attorney.  You have the right to a jury trial.  If you want to preserve this right to a jury trial, you must submit a written demand for a jury trial and post jury fees of $36.00 payable to Iowa County Clerk of Court within ten (10) days following either:  1) the date you submitted your written not guilty plea, or 2) the date of your initial appearance, whichever occurred first.  Jury fees are non-refundable.

 A court date will be mailed to you.  You will have to appear at the court date or you will be found guilty.  It is your responsibility to notify the Clerk of Court in writing of any change in your mailing address.

I’m worried about the points to be assessed against my driving record. How do I know if I am in point trouble?

If you are found guilty of a traffic violation, your driving record may be charged with demerit points.  The Court will not determine the number of points assessed against your record.  The Court will report the conviction to the Division of Motor Vehicles and the Division will assess the number of points against your record, depending upon the charge.  The following point schedule list common traffic violations.  Other violations, not listed, may also carry points.  If you accumulate 12 points against your driving record within a one-year period by date of violations, your license will be suspended or revoked.  If you have questions about the status of your license, you should call the Department of Motor Vehicles License Division directly at (608) 266-2261.


MPH over the limit*                                                            Points

10 or less                                                                                 3

11 – 19                                                                                     4

20 or more                                                                               6

*Exceeding a 55 MPH or higher speed limit by 25 or more MPH will result in a driver license suspension equal to 1 day for every MPH over the posted speed limit.

Other Violations                                                                 Points

Reckless driving or racing                                                        6

Deviating from a traffic lane                                                    4

Driving wrong side of highway or street                                  4

Failing to yield right-of-way                                                     4

Failing to yield to emergency vehicle                                       4

Imprudent driving, driving too fast for conditions, failing         

to have vehicle under control                                                   4

Inattentive driving                                                                    4

Passing school bus when red lights flashing                            4


          Any questions may be directed to the Clerk of Court’s office at (608) 935-0395.


A Traffic Citation: Your Rights and Responsibilities Flyer 

Can the citation be paid without entering any plea?

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

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

Citation payments are due within thirty (30) days after the court date.  Payments can be made in person at the Clerk of Court office with cash, check, or money order. We do not accept credit/debit cards.  If making payments by mail, checks or money orders payable to Iowa County Clerk of Court and can be mailed to 222 N. Iowa Street, Dodgeville, WI 53533. Online payments can be made at AFTER the court date.  There is an additional fee to use this service. 

If you are unable to pay the bond amount stated on the citation by the due date, you make request a payment plan for Judge's review.  A payment plan form will be sent to you with the default judgement within a week after your court date.  If you do not receive the default judgment in the mail, please contact our office at 608-935-0395.

How is the dollar amount on my ticket determined?

The dollar amount written on your ticket is actually a combination of a forfeiture and numerous surcharges and fees.  The forfeiture for an offense is a relatively small part of the total penalty that you must pay.  For example, if you received a speeding citation, the minimum forfeiture for this offense is $30.  The base forfeiture ($30) and the fees and surcharges ($145.30) total $175.30.  This is the amount that the officer is required to write on your ticket, if traveling 1-15 MPH above a 55 MPH or less legal limit (65 MPH limit has a higher minimum).  It is the minimum amount that you must pay for a speeding conviction in the above range.

Why do I have to pay all these fees and surcharges?

These fees and surcharges are added to your ticket according to state statute.  State statutes require that the officer and the court include these fees and surcharges on your ticket. 

Where do these fees go?

On a typical speeding ticket the minimum ticket amount is itemized as follows:



26% Penalty assessment


Court costs


Justice information fee


Jail assessment fee


Court support fee


Crime lab eight drug assessment




What if I don’t pay my citation?

If you are found guilty and you fail to pay, a civil judgment may be entered with statutory interest, tax refund intercept, defendant’s driving privileges suspended (traffic cases), revocation of the defendant’s Chapter 29 privileges (Department of Natural Resources cases), and other collection methods.

Contact information for the Clerk of Court:

Via Mail:                                    Via Fax:  608-935-0386

Iowa County Clerk of Courts        Via Phone:  608-935-0395

222 N. Iowa Street                      Hours:  8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday

Dodgeville, WI  53533