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Paying Your Traffic Ticket May Not Be The Right Move

When issued a traffic ticket, most peoples’ first inclination is to simply pay the ticket and move on. However, traffic citations can have serious and unforeseen consequences. In addition to the high fines, they can result in increased insurance premiums, points assessed on your driver’s license, potential civil liability, and in some instances an automatic license suspension.

Our Madison law firm represents people accused of traffic offenses such as:

  • Speeding
  • Reckless driving
  • Driving on a suspended license
  • Driving without insurance
  • Inattentive driving
  • Texting and driving
  • Hit-and-run

Speeding Tickets

Receiving a speeding ticket can be extremely frustrating, especially when you believe that you were not speeding or were unfairly targeted by law enforcement. It is even more aggravating when you realize that you may have to attend several court appearances if you wish to contest your ticket.

Wisconsin uses a point system to keep track of traffic citations. Every time a person is convicted of a traffic offense, they are given a certain amount of points based on the severity of the offense. When you reach a certain number of points, you can face certain penalties, such as:

  • License suspension or revocation
  • Vehicle forfeiture
Read more about the Wisconsin point system at the DMV’s website.

To learn more about the cost of a speeding ticket and where all the money goes, view our slideshow on the topic:

Inattentive Driving Or Texting And Driving

Inattentive driving functions as a “catch-all” for bad driving behavior, and can include any of the following actions:

  • Operating a vehicle too fast for conditions
  • Failing to diligently observe vehicles surrounding the operator in question
  • Using a cell phone during operation of a motor vehicle such that it impairs the driver’s concentration
  • Eating while driving
  • Or engaging in similar behavior that distracts from the careful operation of a motor vehicle

An adjudication on an inattentive driving ticket in Wisconsin results in four demerit points on a driver’s license, as well as fines and court costs.

Recently, Wisconsin passed legislation outlawing “texting and driving” as well. A violation of this traffic law also results in four demerit points on a driver’s license, and may be issued in conjunction with the more general inattentive driving ticket.

The accumulation of 12 demerit points during a one-year period of time may result in the suspension of a driver’s license.

Hit-And-Run Accidents

Wisconsin law requires a driver who collides with another vehicle to stop as soon as possible and provide the driver of the other vehicle with certain identifying information, or to leave a note on a parked vehicle with the driver’s name and address.


While this sounds like a relatively easy law to follow, for any number of reasons people may not immediately stop and provide the information that is required of them. Whether it is the stress of an accident, or simply not being aware that you damaged another vehicle, if you are charged with a hit-and-run you can face serious consequences.

Even if there are no injuries, penalties range from a fine of up to six months in jail. If someone is injured in the accident, then there is the possibility of even more serious penalties, including up to 25 years of incarceration.

Why Hire A Traffic Attorney?

If you are convicted of one or several traffic offenses in Wisconsin, it is important to discuss the matter with a qualified traffic attorney who can examine all of your options and ensure that you are not compromising your driving ability, incurring unnecessary increases to your insurance premium, or simply paying more for a ticket than you need to. Our attorneys can often reduce fines or points associated with a traffic citation. In many instances, we can even get some or all of your citations dismissed completely.

Our Wisconsin lawyers will explain the potential consequences of your ticket, and also discuss the various avenues of defense that are available in your case. We can also make arrangements to appear at all of your scheduled court appearances on your behalf, relieving you of the need to miss work or other obligations. Whether you are looking for someone to fight your citation in court, or simply hoping to negotiate a reduction to the fines and points associated with your citation, the attorneys at Nicholson Goetz & Otis, S.C., can assist you. You can reach us online or at 608-471-5003.