What should I do when I receive a citation?
Each citation or ticket tells you the nature of the violation charged against you. You may answer the charge by entering a plea.
Your court date is shown on the citation.
If you are charged with drunken driving, you must appear in court regardless of your plea.
In cases not involving a Juvenile Citation, you do not have to appear in court if (1) you pay your fine on or before your court date; or (2) you enter a plea online, by mail or by FAX so that it is received at least five (5) business days before your court date.
If you receive a Juvenile Citation, you must appear in court on the court date indicated on the citation, regardless of the plea you wish to enter.
What will happen if I do not appear on my court date?
In cases not involving a Juvenile Citation, if you don't pay your fine, have not previously entered a plea and also fail to appear in court on your scheduled court date, the judge may enter a default judgment against you. A default judgment is a finding of guilt and a sentence ordered by the court in your absence. The judge may also order a warrant for your arrest. If you are scheduled to appear in court on a Juvenile Citation but fail to do so, the court will find you guilty and will issue a warrant for your arrest.
What are the different pleas I may enter?
You may plead that you are GUILTY, NOT GUILTY or NO CONTEST to the charge against you.
What does a plea of GUILTY mean?
If you plead GUILTY, you admit you committed the violation. The judge will set the fine and tell you when it is due. If you cannot pay the fine immediately, you may ask the judge for more time to pay.
What does a plea of NO CONTEST mean?
If you plead NO CONTEST, you declare you are neither guilty nor not guilty. You merely want to get the matter over with and pay the fine. As a result of this plea, you will be found GUILTY but this finding cannot be used against you as an admission of guilt if you appear in any other court action related to the charge against you.
What does a plea of NOT GUILTY mean?
If you plead NOT GUILTY, you deny committing the violation charged against you. The court will give you a new date to appear for trial. If you need to change the trial date later on, you must come back before the judge at the earliest possible time and ask for a different trial date.
How do I enter a plea?
You may enter a plea online or submit a written not guilty plea by mail, fax or in person so that it is received at least five (5) business days prior to the court date. You may also make a personal appearance in court on your scheduled court date.
If you decide to submit a written not guilty plea, please include your name, date of birth, citation number, type of violation, court date and signature. The address is:
Milwaukee Municipal Court
951 North James Lovell Street
Milwaukee, WI 53233.
For a pre-printed form to use for submitting a plea of NOT GUILTY, please click here.
If you decide to make a personal appearance on your scheduled court date, you will be checked into court to appear before the judge to enter your plea in person.
What will happen after I submit a plea of NOT GUILTY?
The court will notify you by mail of your new court date when you must appear in court for either a pre-trial or a trial.