The uniform traffic citation may be used by an officer of a law enforcement agency of a municipality or county or a traffic officer employed under s. 110.07
for a violation of s. 287.81
The uniform traffic citation shall be on a form or in an automated format recommended by the council on uniformity of traffic citations and complaints and shall consist of a court report, a report of conviction for the department, a police record and report of action on the case and a traffic citation. The form or automated format shall provide for the name, address, birth date, operator's license number of the alleged violator if known, the license number of the vehicle, the offense alleged, the time and place of the offense, the section of the statute or ordinance violated, the amount of deposit or bail for the offense, a designation of the offense in such manner as can be readily understood by a person making a reasonable effort to do so, and any other information as may be pertinent to the offense.
In addition, the uniform traffic citation shall include all of the following:
A full description of the class and type of vehicle, as provided in s. 343.04
, including each special operating characteristic under s. 343.04 (2)
that requires an endorsement.
Whether the vehicle was transporting hazardous materials requiring placarding or any quantity of a material listed as a select agent or toxin under 42 CFR 73
Whether the operator holds a commercial driver license regardless of the type or class of vehicle used at the time of the alleged offense.
Whether any specific waiver provision in s. 343.055
may apply to operation of the vehicle at the time of the alleged offense.
Upon recommendation of a form or automated format for the uniform traffic citation by the council on uniformity of traffic citations and complaints, the secretary shall under s. 85.16 (1)
promulgate the form or automated format as an administrative rule, and with the advice of the council shall make any other rules as are necessary for the implementation and operation of this section.
Notwithstanding any other provision of the statutes, the use of the uniform traffic citation promulgated under sub. (4)
by any peace officer in connection with the enforcement of any state traffic laws, any local traffic ordinances in strict conformity with the state traffic laws or s. 218.0114 (1)
or 218.205 (1)
shall be deemed adequate process to give the appropriate court jurisdiction over the person upon the filing with or transmitting to the court of the uniform traffic citation.
The secretary shall cause to be printed and sold to all law enforcement agencies in this state with authority to enforce state traffic laws or local laws adopted under authority of s. 349.06
serially numbered uniform traffic citations or provide a sequence of assigned numbers for uniform traffic citations in an automated format.
Each law enforcement agency issuing uniform traffic citations shall be responsible for the disposition of all citations issued under its authority, and all law enforcement agencies shall prepare and submit records and reports relating to the uniform traffic citations in the manner and at the time prescribed by the secretary.
Whenever a law enforcement officer issues a uniform traffic citation to an operator who displays a driver's license issued by the federal department of state or otherwise claims immunities or privileges under 22 USC 254a
with respect to the operator's violation of any state traffic law or any local traffic law enacted by any local authority in accordance with s. 349.06
, the officer shall:
As soon as practicable, contact the diplomatic security command center of the office of foreign missions, diplomatic motor vehicle office, within the federal department of state, to verify the status and immunity, if any, of the operator.
Within 10 days after the citation is issued, forward a copy of the uniform traffic citation, at no charge, to the diplomatic security command center of the office of foreign missions, diplomatic motor vehicle office, within the federal department of state.
Any person who, with criminal intent, solicits or aids in the disposition or attempted disposition of a uniform traffic citation in any unauthorized manner is in contempt of the court having original jurisdiction of the cause of action.
History: 1971 c. 164
; 1971 c. 277
; 1973 c. 218
; 1975 c. 41
; 1977 c. 29
, 1654 (7) (a)
, (c); 1977 c. 273
; 1979 c. 34
; 1985 a. 29
; 1989 a. 31
; 1993 a. 436
; 1995 a. 227
; 1997 a. 120
; 1999 a. 31
; 2001 a. 27
; 2003 a. 33
; 2009 a. 55
; 2011 a. 208
; 2015 a. 170
See also ch. Trans 114
, Wis. adm. code.
If a uniform traffic citation and complaint is used in a criminal case, it must satisfy the requirement of stating probable cause. State v. White, 97 Wis. 2d 193
, 295 N.W.2d 346
When the state used a traffic citation to initiate legal proceedings and subsequently decided to prosecute the action as a crime, the trial court erred in not giving the defendant 10 days from the date of the amended charge to object to the sufficiency of the complaint. State v. Mudgett, 99 Wis. 2d 525
, 299 N.W.2d 621
(Ct. App. 1980).
The uniform traffic citation and complaint is not a “complaint" under s. 968.02 (3). State v. Folk, 117 Wis. 2d 42
, 342 N.W.2d 761
(Ct. App. 1983).
“Process" in sub. (5) refers to invoking subject matter jurisdiction and not to acquiring personal jurisdiction. A citation is only a notice. It does not function as a summons and does not compel a court appearance. In general, an officer who issues a uniform traffic citation when no warrant has been issued is not entitled to service or mileage fees for delivering the citation. 63 Atty. Gen. 99.
Penalty for false statements. 345.17(1)(1)
Unless another civil or criminal penalty is expressly prescribed by law, no person may make a false statement to the department or secretary on which the department or the secretary relies in:
Issuing a duplicate license or operating privilege.
Performing an act or administering a law that the department or secretary is required by law to administer or perform.
Any person who violates sub. (1)
shall forfeit not less than $25 nor more than $100 for the first offense and shall forfeit not less than $100 nor more than $500 for the 2nd and each subsequent offense.
Sentencing of juveniles.
A person under the age of 18 years shall be present at the imposition of sentence in cases for violation of chs. 341
or ordinances enacted in conformity therewith under ch. 349
. This section does not apply to parking violations or to cases where a stipulation of guilt or no contest has been accepted for a violation of a local ordinance. A court may waive the requirement of personal appearance under this section in cases of exceptional hardship.
History: 1979 c. 110
s. 60 (6)
; 1979 c. 333
General provisions in traffic forfeiture actions. 345.20(1)(b)
“Traffic regulation" means a provision of chs. 194
for which the penalty for violation is a forfeiture or an ordinance enacted in accordance with s. 349.06
. Except as otherwise specifically provided, “traffic regulation" does not include a nonmoving traffic violation as defined in s. 345.28 (1)
Except as provided in par. (b)
, the apprehension of alleged violators of traffic regulations and the trial of forfeiture actions for the violation of traffic regulations shall be governed by ss. 345.21
. Where no specific procedure is provided in ss. 345.21
, ch. 799
shall apply to such actions in circuit court.
The trial of forfeiture actions in municipal court for the violation of traffic regulations shall be governed by ch. 800
. Provisions relating to the uniform traffic citation in s. 345.11
, to arrests in ss. 345.21
, to deposits and pleas of no contest under s. 345.26
, to the authority of the court under ss. 345.37
and to guaranteed arrest bonds under s. 345.61
apply to violations of ordinances to be tried in municipal court.
A nonmoving traffic violation is governed by s. 345.28
. The trial of forfeiture actions for nonmoving traffic violations is governed by ss. 345.28
. Where no specific procedure is provided in ss. 345.28
, ch. 799
applies to actions in circuit court and ch. 800
applies to actions in municipal court.
apply to actions in circuit court to recover forfeitures and weapons surcharges imposed under ch. 814
for violations of s. 167.31 (2) (b)
, or (d)
. No points may be assessed against the driving record of a person convicted of a violation of s. 167.31 (2) (b)
, or (d)
. The report of conviction shall be forwarded to the department.
apply to actions in circuit court to recover forfeitures for violations of s. 287.81
. No points may be assessed against the driving record of a person convicted of a violation of s. 287.81
. The report of conviction and abstract of court record copy of the citation form shall be forwarded to the department.
Wisconsin's uniform traffic court procedure. Hough, 1972 WBB No. 4.
Authority to arrest with a warrant. 345.21(1)(1)
A person may be arrested for the violation of a traffic regulation with a warrant that substantially complies with ch. 968
. Except as provided in sub. (2)
, the person arrested shall be brought without unreasonable delay before a court having jurisdiction to try the action or a judge.
In traffic regulation actions, the judge or municipal judge who issues a warrant under sub. (1)
may endorse upon the warrant the amount of the deposit. If no endorsement is made the deposit schedule under s. 345.26 (2)
shall apply unless the court directs that the person be brought before the court.
Authority to arrest without a warrant.
A person may be arrested without a warrant for the violation of a traffic regulation if the traffic officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the person is violating or has violated a traffic regulation.
History: 1971 c. 278
Although this section and s. 968.24 pertain only to crimes and violations of traffic regulations, neither statute forecloses traffic stops to enforce non-traffic civil forfeiture offenses. State v. Iverson, 2015 WI 101
, 365 Wis. 2d 302
, 871 N.W.2d 661
The statement in Popke, 2009 WI 37
, that “a police officer may . . . conduct a traffic stop when, under the totality of the circumstances, he or she has grounds to reasonably suspect that a crime or traffic violation has been or will be committed," did not purport to circumscribe the universe of possible scenarios within which traffic stops permissibly may occur, or to make such limits contingent on whether the legislature has titled a particular law a “traffic regulation." A reasonable suspicion that a violation of the littering statute, s. 287.81, a non-traffic civil forfeiture offense, had occurred justified a brief and limited traffic stop. The more onerous standard of probable cause would also therefore justify a traffic stop. State v. Iverson, 2015 WI 101
, 365 Wis. 2d 302
, 871 N.W.2d 661
A city police officer is a traffic officer within s. 345.22. 61 Atty. Gen. 419.
Officer's action after arrest without a warrant.
If a person is arrested without a warrant for the violation of a traffic regulation, the arresting officer shall issue a citation under s. 345.11
, and in addition:
Shall release the person when he or she:
Deposits the person's valid Wisconsin operator's license with the officer. If the license is deposited with the officer, the officer shall issue to the licensee a receipt which shall be valid as a driver's license through the date specified on the receipt, which shall be the same as the court appearance date, and the officer shall, at the earliest possible time prior to the court appearance date, deposit the license with the court.
Shall, if the alleged violator is not released under sub. (1)
, bring him or her without unreasonable delay before a judge or, for ordinance violations, before a municipal judge in the county in which the violation was alleged to have been committed.
Shall, if the alleged violator is released under sub. (1)
, specify on the citation a return date which may not be more than 90 days after the issue date.
Officer's action after arrest for driving under influence of intoxicant. 345.24(1)(1)
A person arrested under s. 346.63 (1)
or an ordinance in conformity therewith or s. 346.63 (2)
, or s. 940.09
where the offense involved the use of a vehicle, may not be released until 12 hours have elapsed from the time of his or her arrest or unless a chemical test administered under s. 343.305
shows that the person has an alcohol concentration of less than 0.04, but the person may be released to his or her attorney, spouse, relative or other responsible adult at any time after arrest.
If the person was issued an out-of-service order under s. 343.305 (7) (b)
, the person may be released as provided under sub. (1)
Deposit after release.
A person arrested under s. 345.22
for the violation of a traffic regulation who is released under s. 345.23 (1)
shall be permitted to make a deposit any time prior to the court appearance date. The deposit shall be made in person or by mailing it to the clerk of the court of the county in which the alleged violation occurred.
History: 1973 c. 218
A person arrested under s. 345.22
or 345.28 (5)
for the violation of a traffic regulation who is allowed to make a deposit under s. 345.23 (2) (a)
or 345.28 (5)
shall deposit the money as the arresting officer directs by either mailing the deposit at a nearby mailbox to the office of the sheriff, headquarters of the county traffic patrol, district headquarters or station of the state traffic patrol, city, village or town police headquarters or a precinct station, the office of the municipal judge, the office of the clerk of court, or by going, in the custody of the arresting officer, to any of those places to make the deposit.
The arresting officer or the person receiving the deposit shall notify the arrested person, orally or in writing, that:
If the person makes a deposit for a violation of a traffic regulation, the person need not appear in court at the time fixed in the citation, and the person will be deemed to have tendered a plea of no contest and submitted to a forfeiture, plus costs, fees, and surcharges imposed under ch. 814
, not to exceed the amount of the deposit that the court may accept as provided in s. 345.37
If the person fails to make a deposit for a violation of a traffic regulation or appear in court at the time fixed in the citation, the court may enter a default judgment finding the person guilty of the offense or issue a warrant for his or her arrest.
The basic amount of the deposit for the alleged violation of a traffic regulation shall be determined in accordance with a deposit schedule which the judicial conference shall establish. Annually, the judicial conference shall review and may revise the schedule.
In addition to the amount in par. (a)
, the deposit shall include court costs, fees, and surcharges imposed under ch. 814
The arresting officer or the person accepting the deposit may allow the alleged violator to submit a check for the amount of the deposit or make the deposit by use of a credit card, and the check or credit charge receipt shall be considered a receipt in lieu of par. (b)
The person receiving the deposit shall furnish a receipt on a serially numbered form, and shall deliver the original receipt to the alleged violator if requested, and shall state to the alleged violator that inquiry may be made at the office of the clerk of court or municipal judge regarding the disposition of the deposit.
An alleged violator in custody shall be released after making the deposit specified in this section.
Any person, other than the clerk of court or the municipal judge before whom the defendant is directed to appear, who accepts the deposit shall, before the time fixed for the appearance of the defendant, deliver the deposit and a copy of the receipt and of the citation issued to the defendant to the clerk of the court or the municipal judge. The clerk or municipal judge shall give a receipt therefor, specifying the serial number of the receipt accompanying the deposit.
Judges may not reduce the amounts of the deposit schedule established under sub. (2) (a). 61 Atty. Gen. 401.
Information to persons charged. 345.27(1)(1)
Whenever a person is charged with a violation of a traffic regulation, the law enforcement officer shall inform the person of the following:
That certain convictions may result in revocation or suspension of his or her operating privilege if the conviction will have that effect.
That demerit points may be assessed against his or her driving record for the offense. The law enforcement officer may estimate the number of demerit points for the particular offense and list it on the traffic citation form.
The number of demerit points that is cause for revocation or suspension.