You have received a citation for a violation of a traffic/local ordinance. If your citation reads "Appearance Required: Yes," you must appear at your assigned court date. If your citation reads "Appearance Required: No" or is blank, your appearance is optional. You will have 60 days from your Initial Appearance date to pay your citation in full.
Initial Appearance / Pretrial Conference
The City of Muskego Municipal Court meets two Wednesday evenings per month, with some exceptions. If this is your Initial Appearance (the date listed at the top of your citation), you will be given the opportunity to discuss your case with the City Attorney (which is called a Pretrial Conference) and may be able to resolve your case at that time. The City Attorney begins Pretrial Conferences at 4:30 PM. The Judge will review the agreement (or Stipulation) with you after your meeting with the City Attorney.
For individuals who do not resolve their case with the City Attorney at a Pretrial Conference, a Trial will be scheduled before the Judge. Trials are scheduled on the second court date of the month beginning at 5:30 PM. Failure to appear for any scheduled court session without proper notice and approval by the Court will result in a default judgment being entered against you and a monetary forfeiture assessed.
You will be asked to enter a plea at the Initial Appearance.
If you plead Guilty, it is an admission of the charges against you.
If you plead No Contest, it is similar to a plea of Guilty and it will be treated the same as a Guilty plea. However, you will not be admitting your civil liability for use in other litigation, which is to be expected where personal injury or property damage is involved.
Where pleas of Guilty and No Contest are made, a monetary judgment (forfeiture) is entered against you. You will be given an opportunity to tell the Judge any mitigating circumstances surrounding the charge(s).
If you plead Not Guilty, it means that you feel the charge against you is not correct.
If you are in doubt as to which plea to enter, you might consider pleading Not Guilty or asking for an adjournment so you can review your case and make an intelligent plea at the adjourned date. If you plead Not Guilty, your case will go to Trial and the Municipality must prove your guilt by evidence that is clear, is satisfactory, and convinces the Judge to a reasonable certainty. At Trial, you will have the opportunity to present witnesses and cross examine witnesses produced by the Municipality either with an attorney or by representing yourself. Your case will be heard in its entirety in a fair and impartial manner. You have the right to appeal the final decision of the Court. Your appeal rights will be given to you in writing at the conclusion of the Trial.
You should check in with Court Personnel upon entering the courtroom. Your attendance will be noted and you will be instructed to sit down and wait for your meeting with the City Attorney and/or Judge. The City Attorney will call your name for your Pretrial Conference, please follow them to the room to the right of the bench. If the Judge calls your name, please advance promptly to the podium.
Upon a finding of Guilty, a forfeiture plus costs may be imposed. Payment may be made in Court or may be paid within 60 days to the Municipal Court Office. If you fail to pay your forfeiture by the due date or request a payment plan, your driver's license may be suspended for up to one (1) year, your debt may be turned over to a collection agency or a warrant may be issued for your arrest and commitment to the county jail.
If you are found guilty of a traffic offense, in addition to any judgment made by the Court, the State Department of Transportation (DOT) may assess demerit points against your driving record. The assessment of twelve (12) demerit points in one (1) year shall result in the suspension of your license. Any person holding a probationary license will be assessed double demerit points for the second and all subsequent violations. Juveniles cited for traffic ordinance violations are subject to the same forfeitures and court procedures as adults.
You may request a payment plan by contacting the Court Clerk at the Municipal Court Office during regular business hours. If you are having difficulty paying a forfeiture due to poverty (as used in §814.29(1)(d)) you may request to schedule an Indigency Hearing before the Judge.