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You may avoid appearing in court by paying the bail amount prior to your court date. If bail is posted you do not need to appear in court.
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If you wish to plead not guilty, you may do this by mail. Mail the plea to the address:
312 W Whitewater Street
P.O. Box 690
Whitewater, WI 53190
Include the charge, your citation number, and your current mailing address. This must be received by the date on the citation. A trial date will be mailed to you with instructions for a mandatory pre-trial conference.
If you do not post bail and you fail to appear in court, a default judgment will be entered against you. Notice will be mailed to you advising you of the default. If you do not pay your fine, either a warrant may be issued for your arrest or your driving privileges may be suspended up to five years for failure to pay.
If you appear in court on your initial court date, you may request a postponement of your plea to consult with an attorney. You may enter a plea of not guilty, guilty, or no contest. If you enter a plea of guilty or no contest you will be found guilty and given an opportunity to speak. If you need time to pay your fine this request will be granted. The court may give you up to 60 days to pay your fine.
For an ordinance violation there normally is just a fine imposed. Most alcohol related violations give the Judge the option to require alcohol assessment, education classes, or suspend your driving privileges in addition to a fine. If any of these penalties are imposed, you will be advised at the time you appear in court.
Traffic violations will have a fine imposed. Most traffic violations have demerit points assessed against them. These points are determined by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Some traffic violations also will require a suspension or revocation of your driving privileges. An alcohol assessment is required on all OAWI violations. You will be given information regarding these requirements when you appear in court.