What To Do After A Wisconsin Speeding Ticket

A speeding ticket in Wisconsin can raise your car insurance rates by an average of 39%, but shopping for new rates after you pay your fine can help.
Written by Jaya Anandjit
Edited by R.E. Fulton
Fines for
speeding tickets range between $175 to $800, alongside three to six demerit points on your driving record. You can pay the fine and face a potential 39%
car insurance
increase, or you can contest it in court.   

How to deal with a speeding ticket in Wisconsin

Step 1: Check your ticket for “Mandatory Appearance,” which indicates that you cannot pay the fine outright and you’ll have to appear in court before entering your plea. In this situation, it’s best to seek legal counsel since appearances are typically mandatory for serious offenses that carry severe penalties.
Step 2: Determine if you will pay or fight the ticket. If you choose to prepay your ticket, you will be admitting guilt and demerit points will be placed on your Wisconsin driving record. If you decide to fight the ticket, you will need to appear in court with evidence to support your not guilty plea. 
Step 3: Seek new car insurance quotes before your next renewal. Your insurance company will find out about your speeding ticket when your policy is up for renewal, at which time your rates will go up by an average of 39%. To ensure you’re getting the lowest rate for your coverage, it’s wise to shop around and compare quotes from different providers before committing to your renewal rate. 

How to pay your speeding ticket in Wisconsin

If your speeding misdemeanor ticket does not require a mandatory court appearance, you will be able to plead guilty and pay it without attending a court hearing. 
Your Wisconsin speeding ticket will highlight a final response date. It's important to respond—by pleading guilty or not guilty—before the date listed on your citation to avoid additional fines and charges. 
Wisconsin drivers have the option to
pay the ticket online
, in person, by phone, or by email. Your traffic citation will explain how to submit each payment method, and you will need to keep your citation on hand to submit the required information listed on it. 
After you’ve paid your ticket, the court will close your case. Your driving record will display the speeding violation and you will find points assigned to your record based on the severity of the infraction.

How to get your ticket dismissed in Wisconsin

If you don’t believe you are guilty of speeding and have the means to prove your innocence, you can fight a speeding ticket in Wisconsin traffic court. Your options will vary based on the severity of your speeding violation, and you may even decide that you need a traffic offense lawyer. 
In general, here are some of the most common effective arguments used to dismiss a speeding ticket: 
Defective radar or police officer error: Wisconsin police officers use radar technology or LiDAR to detect speeding. If you can prove that the radar was not calibrated correctly or improperly used by law enforcement, your ticket may be dismissed.
Wrong vehicle detected: In some cases, officers will record excessive speeding in areas with high traffic and assign a speeding ticket to the wrong vehicle. If you can prove that other vehicles were moving faster than you and caused the radar technology to detect speeding instead of your car, the ticket may be dismissed.
Defective speedometer: If you were speeding without knowledge due to a broken speedometer in your vehicle, the court may dismiss your ticket.
Medical emergencies: The court may dismiss your citation if you were speeding due to a medical emergency. You will need to provide proof of the emergency.
Ignorance is not a viable defense If you are driving on Wisconsin roads, you are responsible for knowing the state’s traffic laws and speed limits. It doesn’t matter if you’re a new driver, a new resident of Wisconsin, or an out-of-state driver—don’t use ignorance as a defense in court.
Keep in mind: If you have a
clean driving record
without previous moving violations, your ticket is more likely to be reduced or dismissed. Otherwise, if you lack evidence to support your case and you have previous speeding offenses on your record, you might be better off avoiding the court costs and paying the ticket. 

What to expect after fighting a Wisconsin speeding ticket

After the court accepts your plea, you will be assigned either a pre-trial conference or a trial court date. By default, you will go to trial before a judge without a jury. If you want to appear before a jury, you must submit a request in writing no more than 10 days after your arraignment. 
The extent to which you are found guilty or proven innocent will impact your situation. If the judge or jury finds you guilty of speeding, you can expect to face the following consequences:
  • Fines: You will be required to pay all fines on the day you are convicted. If you cannot afford to pay, you must prove indigence to the court and pay the fine in installments. 
  • Points: A speeding ticket will generally add three to six points to your driving record, and typically remain in the system for five years. 
  • Driver's license suspension
    : If you tally twelve points or more within a year, the Wisconsin DMV will suspend your license and you will lose your driving privileges.
  • Traffic school: You may be required to attend a traffic safety course, which may remove demerit points from your driving record.1
  • Community service: In some cases, if you cannot pay your traffic ticket, you can request community service instead.2
  • Jail time: If your speeding misdemeanor is furthermore deemed a reckless driving charge, you may face jail time. This typically happens if you were speeding while driving under the influence (DUI), operating a vehicle aggressively, or making improper lane changes.3
If you’re found not guilty of the speeding charges, you can expect the following payoffs:
Speeding ticket dismissal
Dropped fines and penalties
No points added to your driving record
Unaffected insurance rates

Wisconsin speeding ticket penalties

Wisconsin speed limits are divided into the following categories: 
  • Advisory speed limits uphold the maximum speed recommended for curves and other specific roadway conditions. 
  • Regulatory speed limits are absolute speed limits regardless of traffic, roadway conditions, or other factors.
  • Statutory speed limits uphold the maximum and minimum speeds for Wisconsin roads.
  • Modified speed limits are applied to business and residential areas where no other speed limit is posted.4
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation assigns speeding penalties through a point system and fines, but these penalties tend to be higher if you are caught going over the limit in a construction zone or school zone. In general, the penalties for speeding in Wisconsin are as follows: 
Speeding violation
Demerit points
Basic speed law violation
Second basic speed law violation within one year
1 to 10 miles per hour over the limit
11 to 15 miles per hour over the limit
16 to 19 miles per hour over the limit
20 to 24 miles per hour over the limit
25 to 29 miles per hour over the limit
30 to 34 miles per hour over the limit
35 to 39 miles per hour over the limit
40 to 44 miles per hour over the limit
45 or more miles per hour over the limit
Be aware that you may need to pay extra fees when paying your fine. Additionally, if you have a probationary license and you receive your first speeding ticket, you will not get extra points on your license. 

Improve your driving habits 

While this may be your first speeding violation, it definitely isn’t the first in your state. Speeding is fairly common in the state of Wisconsin, which is exactly why law enforcement is cracking down on vehicles going over the limit. 
app screenshot
The best way to steer clear of future speeding violations is by tracking your driving habits.
The Jerry app offers a telematics function that can help you monitor your speed and improve your driving habits to avoid another speeding ticket, high fines, demerit points, and insurance increases.
Did you know? Drivers who track their driving in the Jerry app earn an average safe driving discount of 12% from their auto insurance provider. 

A speeding ticket can increase your insurance rates at renewal

Once you’ve resolved your Wisconsin speeding ticket by paying or fighting it, it’s time to evaluate the impact on your car insurance. 
Step 1: Verify your renewal date: Your car insurance company won’t become aware of your speeding ticket until your policy is due for renewal and they review your
motor vehicle report (MVR)
. This means you won’t experience a rate hike until your policy renews. 
Step 2: Wait for your renewal rate: Your insurer will send you a renewal notice when your renewal date is approaching. You’ll notice a rate increase due to your speeding ticket, and you can choose to go forward with a higher premium from your current insurance provider, or you can seek quotes to find a lower rate.
Step 3: Comparison shop: If you’d prefer to find a lower rate from a different provider, your best option is to compare quotes from three to five other insurers to uncover a better rate. Even with a speeding ticket on your driving record, you may be able to find an insurer who will cover you with lower insurance premiums.
Wisconsin drivers typically see an average rate increase of 39% when their policies renew after a speeding ticket. With this said, each insurance company uses a different
rate calculation method
to determine premiums, so you might find a lower rate from a different provider after your speeding ticket. 
app screenshot
In addition to showing you initial car insurance quotes, Jerry also features a reshop function to help you uncover new quotes when your policy is up for renewal, or if a lower rate is available in your area. 
As your
Wisconsin driving record
ages and your demerit points eventually fall off, automatic reshopping can help you secure a lower rate.
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Best insurance companies after a speeding ticket in Wisconsin

Here’s a rundown of how some of the most popular companies in the insurance industry handle rates when a speeding ticket is discovered at renewal: 
Insurance company
Average rate increase after a speeding ticket
American Family
State Farm
Remember: Each insurance company handles speeding tickets differently. Depending on various factors—like the state of your driving record besides your speeding ticket, your traffic violation plea, and the number of years you’ve been insured with your provider—your rates could go up more or less than the hikes listed above. 
Where'd we get these numbers?
Jerry’s editorial team researched the average rate increase after a speeding ticket for these 10 insurance companies using expert sources from Forbes, NerdWallet, ValuePenguin, WalletHub, Liberty Mutual, The Zebra, and CarInsurance.com. Our data shows the average of the data shared by these sources.


Why do I have to pay additional charges for a speeding ticket in my county?

In addition to your traffic fine, you may have to pay surcharges and fees, which are put toward funding state projects and programs. 
Charges will vary across the state and by the court. You can raise any questions you may have with the
court designated on your citation.

What should I do if I lose my speeding ticket in Wisconsin?

If you lost your ticket, you can call the Wisconsin court closest to the location you were ticketed to confirm citation information.
If you’re not sure of the exact spot where you committed the violation, you can find your presiding traffic court by exploring your memory for clues—the type of officer who pulled you over, notable landmarks, or your travel route can help narrow your search.
Again, always remember to be proactive and work quickly to issue your plea on time.

What is a six-point speeding ticket in Wisconsin?

A six-point speeding ticket is given to Wisconsin drivers who exceed the speed limit by 20 miles per hour or more. Six-point speeding tickets are accompanied by a fine, and may also result in an automatic license suspension if you were traveling 25 mph over the limit or more on a highway. 

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